A big thank you to Roger Platt for taking part in the Great Newham London Run to raise funds for Friends of BCH. Here is Roger's account of his journey.
'In July 2015, my wife and I went to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to support our younger son (24 years old) who participated in the Great Newham London Run. This event is an annual 10k event finishing with a lap of the Olympic Stadium. It got me thinking - 10k is not that far and I'll only be 58 in July 2016. After all, I had previously completed a 10 mile run - does 30 years make that much difference? Also, I needed to lose some weight and improve my general fitness. So I took the plunge and entered.
By the time I had bought the running kit it was November, time flies when you would rather not be exercising! Having not been running for 30 years I started out gently with 2k and 3k runs around the roads at home. By Christmas I had increased the distance to 6k. All the time I was working on a running speed of a kilometer every 6 minutes which would mean running 10k in an hour. It was the end of March before I finally ran 10k but at an average speed of 6 minutes 12 seconds per km. You can see that I was becoming a little obsessive about running speed... Over the following three months I would run 2 or 3 times a week alternating between 10k and a shorter distance. On only one occasion did I complete 10k within the hour but I was hoping that adrenalin and crowd support would give me the extra boost to deliver on the day.
In the month leading up to the event I decided to make it a sponsored run for charity and chose Friends of the Belarusian Children's Hospice. The Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster was a personal concern to my wife and me because our first child, Claire, was born on the day that the Soviet authorities confirmed the explosion and the radioactive cloud blowing over western Europe worried us. It transpired that Claire was fine, but we now know that thousands of children were not. Friends of the Belarusian Children's Hospice was established by parishioners in our church and we have supported their fund raising activities over the years so it was only natural that it would be my selected charity.
The big day arrived but it was hot and humid. The weather conditions were not good and it was only the patchy cloud cover sheltering runners from direct sun that enabled me to keep going. Thoughts of completing the course in 60 minutes quickly evaporated and in the end I trudged over the finishing line at the Olympic Stadium after 71 minutes. Not my best time but I did complete the course without walking and many wonderful people sponsored me for £1,850 and that makes all the training and effort on the day worthwhile.'