Guest Runner: Geraldine

When I was contacted by the Mayhew Animal Home to run the Royal Parks Half for them, and raise awareness of the charity, I knew that I wanted to speak to some of the volunteers that have been involved with them for a while. I asked whether anyone else running the RPH would want to do a guest post about why they have chosen Mayhew Animal Home and how they started running. Geraldine emailed me back saying she was keen, so without further ado, may I introduce you to Geraldine!

When did you start running?
I started running properly in 2007. Initially I could only run for 10 minutes at a time but my fitness quickly improved and I was addicted! After always hating it at school I was quite surprised to fall in love with it so much! To push myself I started entering races and this year will see me running my 5th Royal Parks Half Marathon and my 2ndfor the Mayhew Animal home.

Why did you choose Mayhew Animal Home?
I love being able to do something that I love to raise money for charity and great causes.

I got involved with the Mayhew because, as an animal lover and cat owner, I wanted to raise money for my local animal home. Since getting in touch with the amazing events team at the Mayhew I was blown away by all that they did and how supportive they were.
 
How are you raising money for the charity?
I am a singer and actress and, last year, to help raise extra cash for sponsorship I decided to put on a cabaret. It was such a success so I’ve decided to do the same again this year but this time it will be bigger and better! Burlesque, Beats and Bubbles is at the Green Carnation, Greek Street on 28th August.
Do you have any fundraising tips?
We all know what it’s like getting millions of “please sponsor me” emails…they can get lost and you end up struggling for sponsorship. I know the run itself is the thing that people are technically sponsoring you for but I always try to do something a bit different for fundraising. Most years I try and do a cabaret or something fun and performance based that people buy tickets for. Friends of mine do charity bake sales or raffles. I find that anything that gets across your personality and your passion for the place you’re fundraising for makes it a lot easier to ask people for money!

It’s a great idea to set up a fundraising page that people can easily donate on (like Justgiving.com) and this is a great way to keep them informed of your progress. People like to know how you’re doing and this makes it more of a sponsorship of your hard work rather than just a cash transaction.

How is your training going?
Training has been quite tough this year but I’ve kept going through torrential rain or blistering heat as I’m trying to beat my PB at this year’s race… I even keep training when I go on holiday! My biggest training buddy has to be my cat, Crumble. She always runs up to greet me when I get home from a run!

What tips would you have for newbie runners?
Follow a training plan. I’ve found the MyAsics training plans invaluable. We have busy lives to it’s really important to make sure my runs are in my diary so that I do them! It’s also a great way of monitoring your progress and realise how far you’ve come.

Keep going…sometimes you have off days but it’s important not to beat yourself up about it. Just keep going!

Train with people. Even if you can’t do this in person (or you don’t like running with people…some people are lone runners!) you can do it online. I’m obsessed with Nikeplus and regularly monitor my training and compete with my friends on there. It’s a great way to spur you on to do a run if you know your friend has just logged a run!

Get yourself a pair of decent trainers (and sports bra if you’re a girl!)…and take them with you everywhere! If you can only afford one piece of decent running kit then this should be it.

To find out more about the Mayhew Animal Shelter, to donate or get involved, check out their website!
 

If you’d like to be a Guest Runner or do a review of a Race on the blog, then email me at charliewatson88@hotmail.co.uk. If you’re a beginner training for your first 5K, or running an ultra marathon in October (cough, Becs, cough) then get in touch, I’d love to hear from you! All race distances welcome, local and international! 
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