On the other side

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It’s January 2016 and I’m back up at Brathay Hall for this year’s 10in10 training weekend but not for the same reason as the previous three times I’ve been here. I’m not one of the runners in this year’s Brathay 10 marathons in 10 days challenge and to be perfectly honest I’m very comfortable with this fact as last year’s efforts still make me feel like I need the break from the event. However much I love this event, I find both the training and fundraising very tiring and it takes over my life for a whole year each time I do it. I passionately love this event and what to do anything I can to help the Brathay Trust so this year I’m privileged to be a member of the Brathay Support Team. I’m really looking forward to supporting this year’s 10in10 runners as they take on their individual epic challenges to run 26.2 miles round England’s largest lake 10 times in 10 consecutive days.

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My role this weekend wasn’t to learn how the event operates in May, I already know this but to meet this year’s runners and get to know them so I can be the best possible support for them in May. It was also an opportunity during the course of the weekend and the training sessions for me to help the runners by sharing my advice and experience in this event.

On the Saturday morning run round the course it was thought best if I guided and supported the 2 faster runners by running with them. The plan was for the 3 of us to complete the course in 3 hour 30 minutes. Firstly is Jonathan who I’ve got to know by bumping into him over the last couple of years at many marathons around the country. I enjoyed keeping him company for a number of miles at various stages along the course. The other runner was someone new to me, a young man called Rob from Portsmouth. I was hoping to help guide Rob round on his first ever lap of the lake but sadly after only 7 miles I found I wasn’t able to keep up with his impressive, fast natural running pace as he effortlessly glided round the hilly course, finishing in an impressive time of 3 hours 11 minutes. This man will be someone worth watching come May! Although I didn’t manage to keep up with Rocket Rob, I was pleased to have finished marginally inside our planned time with a time of 3 hours 28 minutes. I enjoyed my 38th lap of the lake. However many times I run this course I never get board of it. The scenery is always stunning whether it is January or May. Sometimes I wish I could lose myself here and never leave. Hopefully there will be many more opportunities for me to return and keep running round this course.

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It’s been a lovely weekend in the lakes, great to once again meet up with the friends I have made here from doing this event 3 times and a privileged to meet and help this year’s runners. I hope I can be a valuable member of the support team this May and be able to make a worthwhile contribution in helping these 12 dedicated runners achieve their best and succeed in their challenge to run 10 marathons in 10 days. Their endeavours will help raise many thousands of pounds which Brathay will use to change the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged young people, who without Brathay will struggle to reach the potentials they are capable of.

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Today I met two of these people, they told us their stories which included, drink, drugs, crime and abuse leaving them struggling in our society. Much of these problems were due to their upbringing and not directed their own fault. They explained how Brathay had supported them emotionally and guided them into employment. They were so thankful for all that Brathay had done. They also spoke about how they both appreciated and were inspired by what the 10in10 runners were under taking. They offered their encouragement and wished the runners all the best with their fund raising so Brathay can continue their fantastic work supporting as many young people like them as possible in the future.

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