One employee who is kick-starting our fundraising is John, who has been a valuable member of staff for many years working as a 3rd Line Support & QA here at Voyager.
As well as being an awesome member of our support team, John is also an avid runner and cyclist, so much so that he will be taking part in this week’s London Marathon in aid of Kidney Research UK and The Born Free Foundation Limited.
We’ve spoken with John to get to know more about his love for marathons and find out what top tips he has for anyone considering taking part in one!
How many marathons have you taken part in?
12 so far…7 in London and 5 elsewhere. After this one coming up it will be my 13th – hopefully lucky for me!
What do you like about taking part in marathons?
The challenge, the atmosphere, the crowds, the excitement and the feeling that I’m making a difference, however small, from my charitable fundraising.
How long do you train for before a marathon and what training do you do?
I do quite a lot of running all year round, so in a sense the training never stops. In terms of London, I start stepping up my training from December onwards, though the winter sometimes puts a spanner in the works (like with the snow in 2018!).
What do you do with all your medals?
I ought to put them on display, but I have so many from various races that sadly they end up being left in piles or boxes, along with my race numbers! One day I’ll sort this out.
What has been your favorite marathon and why?
Probably my first London Marathon way back in 2000 (I started doing marathons quite late on in terms of my running life). I had no idea what to expect and only ran up to 16 miles in preparation, so I was very happy to get under 3 hours on the first attempt!
Do you have any top tips for people new to marathons?
The usual advice, really – start small, join a club for support and motivation, get some races under your belt to become more familiar with the experience, and build up gradually (10K, half marathon, 20 miles then marathon). 26.2 miles is a long way to run in one go but the experience is something that stays with you forever.
No matter how well the race goes, you should feel a massive sense of achievement and pride in what you’ve accomplished, and there’s always the opportunity to sign up for another one (which most of us do, despite often swearing “Never again!”). It’s addictive!
How does being fit help you and your customers from a professional perspective?
It might be a cliché, but yes, keeping fit does help with my work.
Going out for a run or bike ride helps to relieve tension, clear your head and also gives you the opportunity to think about things from a different perspective and in a different environment. I’m mostly a road runner but I also love trail running for the opportunity to be out in the countryside, breathing in fresh air and escaping from the urban rat-race.
Setting yourself a challenge like running a 10K or marathon and seeing it through does also help with building your confidence and self-esteem, which also transfers into my work. I feel stronger both physically and mentally and haven’t had a sick day in many years!
Show your support
John will be donating 50% of the money he raises to our chosen charity of 2019, Kidney Research UK. The other 50% will be donated to the Born Free Foundation Limited. They both do great work respectively and it would be fantastic to raise as much money as we can!
If you’d like to give John a much-needed boost to the finishing line, then you can show your support here. Good luck for the big day John!