At the turn of the year I made a personal commitment to organise and host my own event, this coincided with using 100% of the ‘entry fee’ to further my goal of raising £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. I plan to give everyone the belief they can run further than they think they can, so let’s make running FUN!
My first FUN-RUN in the series was an Olympic Park 10K. I really wanted everyone to enjoy themselves so started proceedings with a quick round of speed dating to get everyone talking to each other.
It was then time to get the blood pumping with some star jumps, followed by press ups and finishing with lunges. Once everyone had a spring in their step, we ran down the stairs beside the Aquatic Centre and began!
It was exciting for me to have runners from outside of London and as far away as Los Angeles and Melbourne visiting the famous park for the very first time.
A late but brilliant addition to the starting line up was Milton, the lovely dog you will be see in all the photos. He genuinely made everyone’s day brighter and I think he may well now be a vital member of the London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series team!
Early on in the run, we found the outdoor climbing wall in the park, which of course had to be scaled, only to come back down and continue on with the run. With the tunes pumping everyone was definitely living in the moment and none of the fears or difficulties which can be associated with running were spoken of.
At each photo opportunity such as a venue or kilometre mark I would throw in a little circuit training to keep things interesting. We would be doing squat thrust burpees, squats, hopping and lunges to name a few.
It was great to run in the quieter areas of the park by the River Lea and the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre, we even had a runner who plays hockey on that very pitch! We then made a loop back towards the Velodrome, naturally running a lap on the elevated section to take in wonderful views of the park. We here attempted a photo of air cycling à la air guitar, results were let’s say interesting.
Having clocked up 7KM we were now running back towards the Aquatic centre, not before taking in a quick face off in ping pong. I say quick, if we actually had bats and a ball, the rally may still be going on now, not in respect to the skill levels, more that it appeared to be a quadruples match. The carefully planned route then lead us towards red telephone boxes, where we split into British and American telephone boxes. Those tourists and their fascination with a red telephone box. The telephone boxes are in a tranquil area of the park designated as the Wetlands. This is one of the many reasons I love the Olympic Park, the different environments which have been included truly make it an outdoors area for everyone.
As we re-entered the Olympic Park by Westfield shopping centre it was time for our best Michael Phelps impressions with the manta ray resembling Aquatic centre in view. Everyone pushing on for the final 500 metres was a joy to see. The finish line between two trees at the top of a small hill was soon alive with high fives, hugs and the most amazing smiles.
It was fantastic to hear at the end that, for a few of the runners, that was their first 10K. That was really special to hear on a personal note as this is what the FUN-RUN series is all about, getting people who don’t necessarily label themselves ‘runner’s’ out enjoying running. To add to the day I also had feedback of ‘that didn’t feel like 10K’ and ‘that made running easy’ and ‘the most awesome 10K’
I was truly amazed and humbled by the turnout I had for my first event. Everyone ran together as #teammacmillan and raised enough money to cover a Macmillan nurses wages for two hours, helping people living with cancer and their families receive essential medical, practical and emotional support AND 15 copies of the Diet and Cancer booklet.
THANK YOU Abby, Ashley, Carleigh, Denisa, Elise, Olivia, Pippa, Ant, Ben #1, Ben #2, Michael and Ralph!
If you would like to donate to the cause you can do so here
What’s next for London ‘FUN-RUN’ Series? Sunday 22nd February – London Bridge(s) 10 Miler
What’s next for Adventure Adam? My return to the Olympic Park, cycling in the velodrome on Tuesday 3rd February