Looking up to the sky above Hyde Park on race day, you could see the incoming threat of imminent rain, heavy grey clouds hung ominously over the start line. However, the park was wonderfully bright with the autumnal leaves lining the pathways, soon to be filled with thousands of colourful running tops. Among them were our 8 superstar supporters, each with their own unique connection to Switch180 and reasons for taking on this awesome challenge.
Azeem, for example, passionately believes in our work and he sits on our Development Board, promoting the charity to his city contacts. Others found out about the charity through their place of work, many of whom are our snowsports industry partners. Chris mentored one of our apprentices at work and he saw first-hand how the charity has changed this young person’s life for the better.
For many of our runners, this was their first half marathon. They all did brilliantly at raising donations and training in the run up to the event. It was great to hear about their progress as race day got closer and we loved seeing everyone in their supporter t-shirts and running vests.
At 9am on the 13th October, runners took their first steps over the start line and the Royal Parks Half Marathon began! Supporters lined the route cheering the participants on and you could feel the excitement in the air. The rain and wind kindly held off long enough to allow some good momentum to be built up around the first half of the course. Drumming bands also spurred on the runners at mile 7, lifting spirits and tired legs. By this point not even the weather could put a damper on things.
It was incredible to see the diversity of runners and the outfits they were wearing. Some were dressed as pineapples, dinosaurs and fairies! With them, our runners were speeding around the course and before we knew it, they were approaching the finish line.
With just 200 meters to go we cheered at the top of our lungs as our first two runners flew towards the finish line in under 2 hours! Cow bells clattered and names of passing participants were called out by onlookers. They were followed closely by our 6 remaining runners, making the 13 miles they had just completed look like a walk in the park. Everyone received their Royal Parks Half Marathon medal before 12 o’clock! The camaraderie amongst participants was wonderful to witness and a great sense achievement was felt by all. It was brilliant to see so many smiling faces, including those of our runners.
Congratulations to Azeem, Avery, Shane, Chris, Carrie, Megan, Harry and Pedro for taking on and absolutely smashing this awesome challenge for us. We felt a great sense of pride as you crossed the finish line, following months of training and fundraising. You collectively raised over £3500 for Snow Camp! This money will go directly towards helping us turn around the lives of inner-city young people with snowsports. What an accomplishment! Thank you.