Our biggest ever team of runners are just ten days away from taking on the London Marathon! It’s been an incredible journey for all of them and we can’t wait to see them perform on the day.
One Team Chance for Childhood runner is Sarah Fencott. She’s been writing a regular blog and spoke to us about her motivations and preparation for running this year’s marathon.
What motivated you to enter this year’s London Marathon?
Running the London Marathon has been a dream of mine since I started taking running more seriously about 5 years ago. I’ve run the Rotterdam Marathon before, but to do a marathon on home soil – and the most iconic marathon in the world – would just be incredible. After my father passed away last August, I was looking for something to focus on, to channel all the emotions – something positive to work towards. So, when I saw that Chance for Childhood was looking for runners, I just thought I’d go for it. There was a part of me that wondered whether I would be pushing myself too much, after an incredibly emotional and tiring year but I somehow sensed it would be the right thing to do.
Why did you want to run it for Chance for Childhood?
Chance for Childhood is close to my heart as I spent a year working for the charity before I moved to the Netherlands, so I already knew what vital work they do for some of the most vulnerable children in Africa. Having been out to Uganda and met former child soldiers who were being helped back into school, I’ve seen the amazing things that can be achieved when we look beyond our own surroundings and realise what a difference we can make to the futures of children living even in the remotest of villages thousands of miles away. Being able to run for Chance for Childhood, and highlight the incredible work they do, is something I’m really grateful I can do.
How is the training going?
So far so good! I’m following one of the recommended 17-week plans from the marathon organisers, and it’s definitely ramping up now. I’m running four times a week, doing a mixture of short runs, speed work, some hill work (although a bit challenging in the Netherlands – it’s more like ‘bridge work’!) and a long run each Sunday. I’m looking forward to a little less rain in the coming weeks as the past few long runs have been rather soggy! The next few weeks see the final push, where the long runs get really long, so fingers crossed I can keep up!
What do you find most challenging about preparing for the marathon?
By far, the time commitment is the most challenging. Training really does transform your life for 3-4 months – your eating and sleeping habits, your social life. Three weekday evenings out of the five are taken up with running or cross training/core strength with little time for anything else, then Saturday mornings and Sundays are planned around running. Wine is also mostly off the menu for now!
What do you find most rewarding about preparing for the marathon?
It’s the most amazing feeling when you complete a new long distance. I always get nervous before each long run, worrying that I might not make it or might need to stop and walk, but that feeling when you hit your intended distance and you know that you did it off your own back – it’s just such an empowering feeling. Also, the extra food you get to eat during the intense parts of the training is a nice bonus!
You can donate to Sarah’s fundraiser here.
You can take on an incredible challenge too! Team Chance for Childhood has places at all the London Classics events, and applications are still open to join us for the RideLondon-Surrey and the Swim Serpentine! Check out our Fundraise page to learn more about our events and how you can get involved.