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Over 100 runners pound the pavements of London for CALM

Team CALM pre race.

One of the most popular 10k runs in the UK took place yesterday through the streets of central London and CALM were there in force to raise funds and awareness for the Campaign Against Living Miserably.

Despite the weather, over 100 runners turned up in their neon green CALM vests to run, jog, walk or crawl the Nike London 10k.  Starting on Piccadilly to the dulcet tones of Heather Small singing Proud from the top deck of a london bus (!?), over thirty thousand of us lycra clad runners puffed, panted and sweated our way round the course, cheered on by a somewhat damp, yet high spirited, crowd who lined the streets complete with flags, banners and umbrellas.  CALM’s own Jane Powell led a very vocal and high energy cheering squad, who were a welcome boost after seven very wet kilometres, and without them it would have been a lot harder to muster up the energy to carry on over Westminster Bridge, drag myself around Parliament Square, up the surprisingly long Victoria Street before attempting some semblence of a sprint up Whitehall to the finish line in the shadow of Nelson’s Column.

CALM runner Oh Standfast finished in 59 mins: "Incredibly inspiring and i felt very proud to be running for CALM"

With an unprecedented total of over £30k raised for CALM in the last month, with the London 10k being a large part of that, it was a truly inspirational event with many CALM supporters running in memory of family members and loved ones.  The Lan The Baron crew certainly raised the roof (and the money) with both their runners and supporters giving it their all in memory of Lanfranco Gaglione.  Via a continuing variety of events, Lan’s friends and family have raised over £14k for CALM and continue to keep the donations flowing in.  Without their participation, energy and generosity a charity like CALM couldn’t exist, so an astronomical thanks to them all.  For details of future fundraising events they are organising in memory of Lan, visit their JustGiving page HERE.

The fastest CALM runner was Ross Allison, who completed the distance in a very impressive 44mins 59 secs, with  Martin Cordiner and Ian Kirkwood both crossing the line at 46 mins.  Show offs.  We gave them tickets to the London Eye, just to keep them quiet.  Hive five, lads!

The fastest three collect their prizes

The less fit amongst us were content with a pint and chat with other CALM runners post race, comparing blisters and sweat rashes in the pub.  Personally i was happy not be in the back of a St John’s Ambulance…

For both runners and supporters of the many, many charities involved in the Nike London 10k, it was a remarkable event and one that i was extremely proud to be part of.  The fact i can barely walk today pales into insignificance compared to the exhilaration of crossing the finish line (apparently stretching before the race could have helped. A bit late now, guys, but thanks for letting me know!)

There is something profoundly moving about witnessing such vast numbers of people raising millions of pounds for a multitude of worthy causes, and it is for that reason that i found myself getting a bit weepy around the 9km mark (although, this could have been a simple case of a lack of oxygen to the brain.  I was slightly delirious at that stage.) Either way, it was a wonderful, if painful, experience and something that i cannot recommend highly enough.  And that’s coming from someone who can barely run a bath, let alone a quarter of a marathon.

Pleased to be in the pub

A huge congratulations to everyone involved plus an enormous shout out & thanks to Louise McGovern and Dan Taylor, who’s logistical prowess meant that everyone got their running packs and we didn’t have to run in our pants and vests.  Bring on the London 10k 2013!


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