During this Olympic year, we have been exposed to one word more than usual: inspired. And it’s easy to see why. We have witnessed scenes of immense elation and profound heartache. Many of us actually attended the events to experience these emotions first-hand with countless others. The rest watched the drama unfold on the tellybox, transfixed by popular sports such as handball, table tennis and, my personal favourite, trampoline.*
At PLBR, we were inspired. It wasn’t enough to sit idly by and watch as the Olympians had all the fun. We wanted to create and experience these same emotions ourselves, so we entered a team into this year’s annual LGN 5km run in glorious Regent’s Park.† Not only could we pursue glory, Rocky-style, in one of the most beautiful parts of London, but we would also be helping The Tesfa Foundation in Ethiopia.‡
We entered a classy team of 15 runners, each one with a story. Each with a goal. Some goals were modest:
“I just want to finish the thing. The time doesn’t matter. Besides, it’s just a fun run!”
Other goals were simple:
“I’m going to win.”
After hours of intense training (insert montage), race day finally arrived. We put our branded trainers on, we warmed up and we hydrated. We were ready to join almost 500 runners from 25 agencies congregated around the start line in Regent’s Park. Just before our collective butterflies caused all sorts of problems, the pistol was fired and we set off round the fast, flat, UK Athletics-ratified course.
I won’t go into details of the race itself but rest assured there were dramas and tears. The tears were mine.
At the finish line, tired bodies littered the ground. The relief at completing the challenge was palpable and elation was experienced by most in team PLBR. However, for one of our runners, it was only heartache.
Our Digital Project Manager, Matt Ponting, was chasing the ultimate dream: a podium finish. He missed it by 17 seconds and strode through in fourth, his face contorted into a state of despair. That disappointment aside, everyone on the team did themselves proud.
On a personal note, I feel inspired to carry on. I’ve purchased a pair of yellow go-faster trainers and entered two 5km races in October and November. I’ve even taken to sleeping in an altitude chamber set to 8000 feet. My blood oxygen concentration has never been so high.
So well done to all the teams and individuals who were inspired to go for gold this year. To those of you who didn’t get involved, follow the advice of a popular trainer brand’s tag line and do it. If anything, the celebratory lager/fermented grape-based beverage at the end will taste sweeter.
P.S. If you’re interested, you can check out the results and feast your eyes on some gorgeous photos at www.lgnwellbeing.com/news/lgn-2012-inter-advertising-5km
* The trampoline event was tremendous. The antics and shenanigans that unfolded on this compellingly springy apparatus were just out of this world.
† The LGN inter-advertising 5km run is an annual event started by LGN in 2007. You can see what LGN get up to at: www.lgnwellbeing.com
‡ The Tesfa Foundation helps provide safe housing, education and food for young homeless people in Ethiopia. Find out more and make a donation at www.tesfa.org