Great South Run

Mar 6, 2015
Sophie Buijsen

Tags: great-south-runmindcharity

Finish Line It seems like only yesterday that I crossed the finish line for the Great South Run as part of the SARD JV team. But time flies and it’s now been several months since October 26th. We’ve rounded up our donations and we’re proud to announce we raised £923.43 for Mind in Croydon!

In the weeks leading up to the race we all expressed being nervous about our fitness levels, even though all of us had been training and trying as best we could to get as fit as possible for the race. In fact, Philip trained so hard he completely did his back in, having to pull out of the race! Francesca and Emma also had to pull out of the race due to different circumstances (none of which were laziness I can assure you!).

The day before the race Alex and I took a train down to Southampton, where we’d meet Dominic, Kevin and Francesca at a local B&B. We had dinner and tried to figure out what the best dinner option was before the race the next day. I’ve never considered the health benefits of a plate of pasta quite so much before ordering at a restaurant before! All of us were a little nervous, but also excited about the task ahead. The next morning we bundled into Kevin’s car and drove to Portsmouth where we met Barbara to complete our team.

Barbara has run the Great South Run and many other races before and has been training for fun for much longer than all of us, so she was selected for an earlier start time than the rest of the team. This meant we got to cheer her on when she crossed the start line. She took off with the ‘under 2 hour’ group to eventually finish the race in an impressive 1hr 24mins!

The rest of us grouped up with the rest of the more leisurely runners and enjoyed the communal warm up. We managed to start the race all together. We crossed the start line in good spirits, joking and pointing out all the people who had decided to run the race in fancy dress. One of the fancy dress participants was a runner wearing a great big bear costume and the costume was wearing a full army uniform including fully loaded backpack! It made me feel like possibly this race was going to be easier than I had anticipated, if a man in a double costume was confident he could do it!

After a mile or so, we had to split up because we all had different tempos we wanted to stick to. Dominic turned out to surprise us all and ran so far ahead that he managed to run the 10 miles in a total time of 1hr 20mins. Alex went up ahead for a while whilst Kevin and I kept going at an easy jog. I had stupidly worn some new socks for the race, which turned out to be a bad idea. Four miles in, my feet started going numb and cramp up and I had to take off both my shoes to massage my feet before I could continue. I told Kevin to keep going and luckily he caught up with Alex. The two of them crossed the finish line together at the 1hr 42mins mark. I was now fully aware that I was lagging behind the rest of the team and tried to make up for the 20 minutes I had lost with the sock debacle. I eventually finished at 2hr 2mins.

Anyone who knows me a little bit knows I’m not one for athletic endeavours. So I felt very proud when crossing the finish line, but also a huge sense of relief that I would never have to run a distance like that again! All of the runners of team SARD, and all of our colleagues who cheered from the sidelines went to the Scandinavian café 101 Reykjavik afterwards and enjoyed some lovely beverages and smorgasbords to regain our energy.

The medal has a proud place in my house and I’m very proud of Team SARD JV for running the race, and also for raising a large amount of money for a charity that is close to our business, close to our community and also close to my heart personally.

The money raised was for the Croydon branch of Mind, which services cover the Crystal Palace area, which is where our offices are based. We are fully intending to do more charity work for them, although my feet sincerely hope it’s not another 10 mile run!

If you want to find out more about what Mind does and how you can help them, or how they can help you, go to: http://www.mind.org.uk/

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