Running and raising funds by Aidan Elmore
In late April, via a Facebook link, I found out that on 2 July 2017 there would be a charity 10 kms run in Newham London on 2 July, and it was to raise money for Worldwide Cancer Research. Immediately, I signed up.
As an enthusiastic runner and currently competing at Havering Athletics Club I was eager to take part. Also, my Grandad had sadly passed away in late March due to cancer and I thought I would use my love for running to raise funds for Worldwide Cancer a worthwhile and important cause close to my heart.
A week later, I received an email from the event coordinator that I had to raise at least £200. Considering I have never done any fundraising by myself before this seemed like a challenging task. However, through helping with various fund raising activities as a member of Hylands and the motto "If you think you can, you can" I learnt through gaining my Jack Petchey Achievement award, I accepted the challenge. Initially, I set up a page on Just-Giving and I received my first donations from my auntie, my parents and also via my tutors at my college. Seeing my progress, I received my vest, fundraising resources and identification pack which contained my tracker.
I shared my page on social network platforms such as Twitter and Facebook but apart from positive messages from friends, I only received one more donation and with only a month left until my run this started to worry me a bit. Therefore, I prioritised offline donations and I ran a Bake Sale at my college to raise some funds on 26th June. I baked homemade vanilla and chocolate cupcakes and the Bake Sale was a huge success raising £48.
Meanwhile, my training went smoothly as I consistently ran at least one weekday evening doing hill runs near my home and I regularly completed 5 kilometre park runs every Saturday morning at Harrow lodge Park. As many say, without persistence you will not achieve. In hindsight, I should have done more long distance runs like 8 kms to fully prepare my endurance as I didn't do these until the final week before the big event. Luckily, when I was on the start line I had my older brother with me who promised he would run at the same pace as me for most of the run.
I would highly recommend anyone to take part in this event as it is an incredible experience as the route takes one past all the iconic -2012 London Olympic Games- facilities such as the velodrome, the orbit, the aquatics centre and of course the athletics stadium which was the best part as that is where Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis won gold for Great Britain on that unforgettable Super Saturday on 5 August 2012.
When I reached the end of the race, I put all my energy into sprinting across the line raising my arms in the air and crossing the finishing line with a sense of relief. I felt thrilled for accomplishing what I had set out to do. Another thing I enjoyed about the run was the music being played, drums beating and the cheers from charity supporters which really kept me motivated and made the experience even more fulfilling.
The only thing I didn't enjoy was the fact my brother, as a more experienced runner, beat me by about 30 seconds getting away from me with about 1000 metres left but I am sure I will do better when I run against him in another 10 kms run next year.
Finally, I would like to mention special thanks to Hylands Community Amateur Sports Club and specifically Giorgio, Alfie and Steve Thomas respectively who helped raise vital extra funds for the charity as I reached in total £316.45 beating my target of £235 by nearly 35%.