written by Melissa Pereira
It all started on a cold New Year’s Eve when a group of us decided we would take part in the next London 10k run. We decided to run for Shine because of the great work that the charity has accomplished in teaching underprivileged children in Zambia to read and write.
Five months on and I realised that I had better get started on my training. As I had never run anything or anywhere before, I decided to follow a beginner’s 10k training plan which eased me in gently and gradually built up my distance and speed towards the big day.
Before I knew it, the morning of the run (Sunday 10th July 2011) had arrived! On the train ride into London, I could see more and more people boarding the train who were all headed for the same place as me. I finally arrived at Embankment station, and as I got off the train, I found my way to Shine’s meeting point. Once we had dropped our bags off, we walked to the starting line with a mix of excitement, nervousness and great anticipation. With over 25,000 other runners taking part, the atmosphere was very lively and friendly and the Mounted Band of the Blues and Royals were there to provide the ceremonial guard at the beginning of the race. As I set off, it wasn’t long before I fell into a gentle, steady jog which was to see me through the first 8km, along Embankment with fantastic views of the London Eye, St Paul’s Cathedral and The Houses of Parliament. I then decided to walk across Westminster Bridge, where the City of Southampton Albion Band was performing, before setting off again to complete the race in a slow but steady 77 minutes.
It was a great day and between 7 of us we managed to raise over £1500 for Shine. I will definitely be running again next year and maybe in fancy dress this time!