To celebrate our 50th anniversary this year we’ll have 50 feet in the British 10k London Run on July 11th.
Over the past seven years our amazing 10k teams have raised a fantastic £35,000 to support our important work with some of the poorest people in rural India and Malawi. Be a part of the life changing fun! Be two of 50 feet for us this summer.
This piece was posted by Marathon runner Tim Cross
Tim running 10k for FYF
This will be the second time I have done the London Marathon. It is unlike anything else I have ever done. The elation at the start and the joy of being out early with thousands of other nutters is very amusing but arriving at Canary Wharf and running through the crowds there to cheer you on is truly incredible.
It can be a pretty painful experience at times though, and it is at times like this that running for Find Your Feet really spurs me on!
I first worked for FYF 19 years ago, in India and then in Zimbabwe and Malawi. 4 years later I returned to England and became a trustee of FYF and 4 years ago I became Chairman, stepping down last October.
I have been out to see that work that we do and it is truly amazing. For me the greatest thing we do is to open up opportunities to the poorest of the rural poor. We show them that by working together they can solve not just the problems they have today but any new problems that arise in the future. That is real self sufficiency and I have seen communities transformed by self belief and a little help from FYF. We give them the start and it makes such a difference.
Another great thing about money raised at events like this is that FYF can use it to gain further funding from governments. It’s called matched funding and FYF can get up to 10 times more by using this kind of donated money, so it can make a massive difference.
Tim in India
A few tips for other Marathon runners out there: Definitely get carb loading over these final few days – it really helps. Loos at the start were really sparse last time which is fine for the blokes but more of an issue for the girls (having said that everyone seems to stop anywhere along the route!). The Lucozade supplies at every 5 miles are all you need but all that sugar can play havoc with your guts. The water comes in bottles and there is always plenty of it but make sure you don’t tread on the bottles as you will easily twist your ankle. Take paracetamol before you head out and get your friends/family to have some more for you along the route.
The most important thing is not to head out too quickly from the start. The excitement of getting running is too much for the crowd and it tends to sprint. Get into your pace right from the start despite the fact that everyone is running past you. You will be running past all of them after 15 miles. It’s a long run – don’t go off too fast!
The day after you will be completely wiped out. And probably the day after that as well but its worth it and you will be so grateful for the crowd that cheered you round that you will go back next year to support, I guarantee it!
Donate to support Tim’s run! Visit his Virgin Money Giving page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TimCross
This article was posted by Brighton Marathon runner Phil Case
Brighton Marathon runner Phil Case
I ran the Bournemouth Bay Half on Sunday to get some practise running in conditions similar to what I can expect at Brighton. A couple of observations… I am glad I wore sunglasses as it was pretty bright, also many runners were running with handheld bottles of sports drink and taking sips along the way. I think this is a good idea because I struggled to drink the water they handed out in plastic cups. Also the water was icy cold and almost hurt going down!
Before the race I went to a shop and had shoes fitted. I discovered I am a slight over-pronator, which means my feet roll slightly forward when I run. The shop assistant kitted me out with a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 shoes – and they felt excellent during the run. I had no niggles at all and my knees felt fine after the run, for a change.
Anyone else got any tips? I would love to know about food tips as I had a veggie English Breakfast on the morning of the run which was a mistake. I felt like a bloated whale.
Do you want to help run poverty into the ground at the same time as running one of the world’s best-loved marathons?
FYF’s entry process for the Virgin London Marathon is now open!
Visit our website to download an application form! http://www.fyf.org.uk/getinvolved/marathon.htm
I still can’t believe it’s over, that i’ve done it, run my first marathon! Thinking back to Sunday 26th just brings a big smile to my face. It was one of the best experiences of my life! It’s hard to put into words everything that made the day so perfect – for me the whole experience from start to finish was just amazing. The positive energy, strength and determination of the runners matched with the devotion, good will and generosity of all the supporters created this incredible atmosphere! Unlike my training runs where I’d get to half way and then count down every mile to the end, my mind was constantly distracted by the cheering crowds, the live music and amusing fancy dress runners. Knowing friends and family were at various points along the way also made a huge difference, it was a bit like “Where’s Wolly” trying to pick them out from all the friendly, encouraging faces but I managed it on a few occasions and this really spurred me on.
Mad as it may seem, I actually enjoyed the last 13 miles more than the first, both mentally and physically! Before I got to Tower Bridge (just before mile 13) we were a lot more compact and I was running at a slower pace than normal, occasionally having to speed up and slow down to over take! However after that point, the further I ran the more space there was on the streets and joyfully I began to run at a more natural pace. Encouraged by the fact that my left leg was behaving, the further I ran the more elated I felt. Reaching mile 20 (the longest I’d ever run before) I did experience a slight feeling of nausea and began to feel a few aches and pains but comparative to previous runs I was in a much better state and from here to the finish line I felt a profound sense of euphoria. Running the last few miles along the Embankment and up to the Mall, I was struck not only by my own sense of well being but the achievement of everyone else around me and the wide reaching positive effects this day would have for so many.
There is no doubt that training and running a marathon wouldn’t have been half as fulfilling had I not been running for Find Your Feet. Knowing that families in India and Malawi would also benefit from my experience was a huge motivation and gave real meaning to the challenge. I feel really fortunate to have had the opportunity to run for a charity, the fundraising process although initially a little daunting has turned out to be one of the more fun aspects – it’s taught me a lot about myself and given me great hope! If anyone is thinking of running a marathon, I say do it! It’s amazing what you can achieve if you put your mind to it!
On Monday I held another fundraising night – this time a beginner’s swing dancing class, a chance for people to Find THEIR Feet on the dance floor! The night was lots of fun, everyone got into the swing of things – excuse the pun! In terms of my fundraising total, I’m now up to around £2500 and hopefully there will still be more to come.
I can’t believe the marathon is now only days away – having tapered my training these last few weeks I’ve had more time to think about the big day and nerves are starting to kick in! I went to Excel last night to collect my running number and it all suddenly felt much more real. To think that all the thousands of people making their way there have been like me and been gearing up for this event for many months, each one of us running for our own different reasons. Just collecting my number gave me an adrenalin rush so who knows how I’ll feel come Sunday!
Weather wise things are looking good, I can’t believe I’m rejoicing in the fact that the warm weather is set to end come the weekend! I know it may be more fun for the spectators to watch us in hot sunshine but it wouldn’t be any fun for us runners. Talking of spectators, it sounds as if friends and family are going to be dotted along the route at various points – it’s the last 6 miles that I’m most anxious about so I hope a few are stationed there! I have a feeling my left leg is going to give me some trouble along the way so I’m hoping the shouts and cheers from the crowds will help push me along and across the finish line. Right now I’m feeling both excited and daunted by the challenge that lies ahead but I think that’s a good way to be and I’m sure there are plenty of other first time marathon runners feeling just the same!
Thought it was good to get more experience running in a crowd so went and ran an organised marathon training run at Hemel Hampstead. Had to get up at the crack of dawn to make the 9.30 start but definitely worth it; even if I did forget my ipod at home and struggle through numerous aches and pains along the way! With lots of hills to tackle and no music and cheering crowds to encourage me along, this was the hardest run I’ve done so far and brought home the enormity of the challenge that lies ahead.
I have to admit that I’ve got to the point where long runs at the weekend are no longer much fun! Running anything over 2 hours requires a degree of forward planning and self-discipline and that can get a little boring and anti-social after a while. Today’s 20 miler completely knackered me out, didn’t make it to friends for lunch in the end as I was just too tired. Left leg playing up a bit, hope it’s nothing serious.
Tonight I held a pub quiz to further my fundraising efforts for Find Your Feet. Evening was a great success, around 80 people took part and together we raised £420. Fortunately I’d delegated the role of quiz master to a friend of a friend, an old hand at these sort of things, and he did a fantastic job. Leg still not right.
Ow! Ow! Ow! Decided to go and see a physio about my leg as it’s not feeling any better. Don’t want to risk doing anything now that might jeopardise my place in the marathon – that would be miserable! Diagnosis not so bad – could be worse. Apparently all the running has made my pelvis tilt so one leg has become longer than the other, causing extra tension and pressure down one side. Fortunately the physio was able to work some miracles (not pain free miracles I might add) and after a few pulls here and there he was able to re-align it. He also threw in some acupuncture and a soft tissue massage for good measure, lucky me, more pain! Have to go back next Wednesday but in the meantime I can continue with my training. Phew!
Woke up and the last thing I wanted to do today was run 18 miles. Running these long distances is becoming as much a psychological challenge as a physical one! After a busy week at work I would have much preferred sitting in the sunshine with the papers eating a yummy breakfast, not running around forcing back one of those putrid high energy liquid gels that everyone recommends. They’re the most revolting thing I’ve ever tried! Helpful but hideous. I’ve also heard cold baths are good after a long run! Could my day get much better?!
I’ve just seen more donations on my justgiving page - I’m so touched by everyone’s support! Every donation means so much and is a huge incentive to keep up the training!!!
Woohoo, nearly upto £1000 on my justgiving page! Entries for the FYF pub quiz on the 6th April coming in thick and fast. Plans for the beginner’s swing class taking shape – don’t know whether i’m fool to hold this before the marathon. Would be just my luck to twist my ankle in the last few days!
Ran the Hastings 1/2 marathon at the weekend – no-one told me the first 5 miles were all up hill! Seems though that hill runs on Hampstead Heath have set me in good stead – didn’t find it as bad as i thought, then again, I did have some new upbeat tunes to keep me going! Amused me that people were handing out bananas half way round – nothing like running through a road of discarded banana skins?! I hope no-one slipped.
Next weekend I’m planning an 18 mile run – hoping the weather holds! Not sure where to run to this time…. maybe i’ll head East for a change.
Woke up to sunshine and set off for a 15 mile run with a spring in my step! Decided that with these longer runs it’s just no fun repeating the same route twice so planned a route that took me all over London. Beginning at Kentish Town, I followed the Canal up to Regent’s Park, ran round there a little way before breaking off towards Hyde Park and then from Hyde Park I ran to Battersea Park via South Ken – tempted to stop running and join the queue for The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award exhibition at the Natural History Museum but didn’t. It’s on until the 26th April – the day of the Marathon – so there’s still time!
Had a funny experience with a young man with a video camera who came running up beside me – he wanted some footage of me running with a word stuck on my back! He’d already recorded other words in a variety of random places and left with just a few more to do, i saw now harm in helping. Running up and down the street with the word “for” on my back only took a minute and it was only once I’d left him and his words behind did I wonder about the significance of it all. Guess I’ll never know but at least the next few miles went by unnoticed whilst I was lost in thought…
Sunday’s run also taught me to stick to what I know, ie don’t divert from the original plan. Only I was to blame when I reached the 15 mile mark and was still half an hour away from home! The last few miles were a real slog, a reminder that the marathon is not just a physical challenge but a mental one too!