How was your experience running the London Marathon?
I had a wonderful experience running the London Marathon, it exceeded all my expectations!
Did you enjoy being part of Team JRS?
It was great to be part of JRS, I especially appreciated everybody’s willingness to connect via social networks and train together before the event. We had a lovely coordinator Danning, who was continuously encouraging us, being optimistic and supportive throughout fundraising and particularly on the day of the event when JRS members cheered for us on our journey.
What would you tell someone who is considering to take on this challenge?
I would say don’t be afraid of the distance! The atmosphere of the Marathon is unique; there are bands playing, people cheering, co-runners encouraging others, energy gels, waters and jellybeans handed out in plenty. The journey in itself is stunning, you get to run past and through some of the most iconic London sights. It was definitely worth the pain!
How did you prepare to run your first marathon?
Originally, I was supposed to run my first London Marathon 3 years ago. I was training really hard, multiple times a week, long runs. Then the COVID happened and with it a few lockdowns, so the Marathon kept on getting postponed. I even broke my arm last September and had to postpone the Marathon again, not being able to train. Finally, I started to train in January but due to workload I could not do more than one-hour run a week which is not much (and sometimes I even skipped those due to travelling and moving!). I believe that because of my background in dance, years of training and running beforehand and general love of sport, the muscles “remembered” the hard work and therefore it worked out well in the end.
What was your fundraising journey like? And any tips for future JRS runners?
The fundraising was not easy, I was quite surprised that many people I personally know didn’t contribute or show interest, but people I barely knew, did. Frankly, not many of my close friends donated also which was quite sad. I was also surprised that not many Catholics I reached out to (e.g. a young adult girl Catholic group I attend) contributed or I did not feel being very supported. Many times, I got discouraged and did not want to ask people again or to promote the event again when I didn’t get any response or support. I think that the best way is to send individual messages and ask people individually (which I did not do because it seemed to be a bit pushy), but I think that would probably work! My tip would be to start fundraising early and attaching photos to your social media showing that you are getting ready for the Marathon, not losing enthusiasm and especially in the last 2 weeks before the event to promote it constantly!
Well done and a huge thank you to Anna for being a part of our team of marathon runners this year!
If you are inspired by Anna and would like to take on this challenge for JRS UK in 2024, applications are now open! For more details, see www.jrsuk.net/london-marathon/