Tag Archives: London

Who has been your Olympic inspiration so far?

18 Aug


Well the Olympics have been and gone… but certainly not forgotten. In less than two weeks we have the Paralympics to look forward to which I have no doubt are going to be just as incredible.

There is still a huge buzz from the past two weeks, and I have already heard so many stories about how the games have inspired people to get out there and take part in sport, but will it last? I really hope so. For me, the Olympics demonstrated how ordinary people like you and me can achieve their dream with just a bit of dedication, determination and a goal.

My idol from the olympics so far has got to be Jessica Ennis and Charlotte Dujardin.

Above Inset: Jessica crossing the finish line.

Above inset: Charlotte and equally talented team mate Valegro

Two completely different sports, I know, but two sports I am personally very passionate about. I practice both sports and know how hard both sports are. At the level those two are at though, the hours of training and intensity involved must be unbelievable. Both athletes won gold. I am in complete admiration for both (and all of the other athletes too!) But for me, these two have given me a real focus and I know can help me achieve my own personal goals in both running and riding.

Its not easy to stay motivated though and there are times when our goals just seem so far away or almost impossible. If you stay focused and keep that goal in mind you CAN DO IT.

Here are some tips to make sure you stay focused:

1. Write down your goals. Put them up where you will see them everyday. I write my goals and stick them on our fridge at home. (I spend a lot of time in the fridge!) If you are having a bad day they can help keep you focused and there is nothing more satisfying than crossing them off once you have achieved them and planning the next one.

2. Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself goals that you aren’t going to achieve, start small and think big. If you just run for 10 minutes then it is 10 minutes you might otherwise have spent on the sofa. I often find by 10 minutes, Im warmed up and I carry on anyway.

3. Sign up for that race today. Sign up to a race, whatever the distance, its a race and its a goal. Then tell ‘everyone’ you know about it, that way you will have to do it or you you will just look silly!

4. Imagine yourself at the Olympics! So your running along and you feel like stopping, you’ve had a long day at work and you just want to turn back, go home and put your feet up. Instead, why don’t you push yourself. Imagine yourself on the Olympic track in front of the worlds media, your country are cheering you on, ‘Come On!’ you can feel the crowd moving you along… Just a bit of imagination can get you over that finish line and it could be a PB.

5. Keep a diary of your achievements. Use map my run or a programme that can track all of your runs. That way you can see your progress over time. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing just how far you have run. If you are having a bad day… just look at how far you have come. You know you can do it.

6. Remember how lucky you are. After my riding accident last year when I was unable to run for a while it has made me realise just how lucky I am to still be able to do what I love. I never take running for granted.

7. Put your kit on. Once you put your running gear on, theres no turning back. Can you imagine how guilty you would feel if you had to take it all off and hadn’t bothered going out for a run? … So theres no excuse. Get your trainers on a get out there!

Have you got any tips you can share that keep you motivated?

Miles so far 683. 1,329 to go

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In Memory of Claire Squires

27 Apr

As a fellow runner, but no where near as special, beautiful, brave, strong and giving as Claire Squires, whom I will add I never had the pleasure of knowing. I would like to dedicate one of my posts in Run for 2012 to Claire Squires. It has almost been impossible to have not heard about this tragic story of a beautiful, courageous and strong woman who died very suddenly and unexpectedly after collapsing so close (less than a mile) to the finish of the London marathon on Sunday 15th April 2012.

Claire was running the London Marathon for The Samaritans, her chosen charity on behalf of her brother who sadly committed suicide a few years ago, her mother had also worked there. Claire had set up a Just giving page for her chosen charity, which she wrote “If everyone I know could donate £5, that would be a great help and change lives.”. Claire’s page has now raised more than £800,000.

Every time I have seen or read about this tragic story of this wonderful woman who is just a year younger than me I get a shiver and a tear for Claire. On Monday when I watched the news and heard about her death I did sit and cry. That could be me, you or anyone of our friends. When Claire’s best friend describes Claire I just think she was someone I only wish I could be. A very special person.

The Telegraph begun a recent article ‘Out of tragedy sometimes comes something extraordinary. The death of Claire Squires, the runner who collapsed during the final mile of the London marathon on Sunday, was an unspeakable tragedy. And yet, in the three days since her death, something amazing has occurred.’

 The generosity of people who never knew Claire who have donated to her chosen charity just goes to show how powerful something like this tragedy can be, and perhaps not just for ‘fellow’ runners, but for all of us. A beautiful, young and healthy woman is taken at the most unexpected time of her life doing something for others. Running a marathon is a HUGE achievement in itself, but Claire chose to run her marathon for a charity and just look what a difference she has made. I just hope she is watching.

Tens of thousands of anonymous donors have pledged between £2 and £250 in her memory, identifying themselves only as “fellow runner” or by their race number. “You are an inspiration,” wrote one. “My medal is for you.”

Claire was the 10th person to die during the London marathon in the event’s 31-year history. Unlike many of the others, however, she had no history of heart disease. She had recently climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity and ran the same marathon in 2010. I hope this doesn’t scare people into choosing ‘not’ to run, as running is something I know I could not live without now. I am sure Claire would have agreed with this too. I am just so, so sorry she had to die, but she died doing something she loved, whilst making a difference to so many lives. Her family and friends must be so proud of her.

I plan to do the London Marathon next year and I will definitely be thinking about Claire Squires when I cross that finish line next year.

The support for Claire’s fund-raising from everyone has hopefully helped her family focus on something positive in the days after her death. Their daughter gave everything she had, the least we can do is give back what we can.

Please go to Claire’s Fundraising page and give her something back that she gave to so many others:


My run so far: 354.18 miles

1657.82 miles left to go …a long way.