On June 5th 2016, 7 members of staff took on the Great Midlands Fun Run around Sutton Coldfield and Sutton Park, running 8.5 miles on one of the hottest days of the summer so far.
Some of this team are experienced runners but some of them were extremely new to running at the time, this included National Engagement Manager Tamzin Taylor-Rosser who was the first to sign up for the challenge and then encouraged other staff to join her.
Explaining her motivation for taking on this challenge Tamzin said:
“I turned 40 just before the start of the year and thought about setting myself a challenge to mark this milestone. It reminded me that I’d bought a lot of running gear when I was 31 and every year since it has been my New Year’s resolution to take up running but I’ve never done it. Those that know me, know I’m not really into sports and that initial spark of enthusiasm hasn’t lasted, I just haven’t had the motivation.
Well I had a chat about it with St Basils Rents Officer Alex Keane (who we featured in these pages last year when she took on the Great Midlands Fun Run for the first time) and she inspired me because she said she couldn’t even run to the end of the road when she first started doing it but that she’d found it very liberating in the end and it always helped her clear her head.
So I thought I’d try it, not just for the physical benefits but for the mental benefits too. In late January of this year I decided I was going to do it and I downloaded and started using the ‘Couch to 5K’ NHS app, which starts you off very gently and gradually builds up. The first exercise was ‘walk for 5 mins, run for 60 seconds’, and I could barely do that the first time but I persevered and by mid-April, much to my surprise, I could run for 25 minutes.
Alex told me ‘To sustain it, you’ll need a goal’ and ‘do it for something you really care about’.
There are lots of causes close to my heart but working to ensure young people can have a voice is really important to me and it’s been my life day in day out for 16 years, so for my first run, I wanted St Basils to benefit.
Besides we’re always saying to our young people that if you set yourself a goal and focus on it, you can achieve it. It’s an important life lesson we teach them so I’ve got to do it really, to prove the point to them.
Tamzin successfully completed this her first running challenge in 1 hour and 37 minutes and finished 2935th out of over 7000 people.
Commenting on how she found it on the day, Tamzin said:
"I really struggled at first. We were all trying to run together and keep up with each other at first but gradually we all split up. Miles 1 - 4 were the hardest for me and I was being overtaken by so many people but then I was looking at their T-shirts and all of them, supporting so many charities, it was like a sea in front of me and it just reminded me why I was doing it and that just spurred me on.
"The atmosphere as well was amazing with so many people supporting and cheering us on. From mile 6 onwards I loved it and the finish was just awesome!."
"It's true what they say about doing a challenge for charity and a cause you care about. It does give you that extra bit of motivation".
The team have raised £905, smashing their £500 target. Half the group now plan to run the Birmingham Half Marathon in October as their next challenge and will keep their fundraising page open for that event.
You can sponsor them here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=AlexKeane
Pictured top left are the whole team: Michael (Finance), Tamzin (National Engagement), Sameea and Barrie (Fundraising), Mark (Supported Lodgings), Alex (Rents), Saj (Supported Lodgings).
Inspired to take part yourself? You'll have to wait until next year when registration opens on 28th January 2016 for the Great Midland Fun Run but another running challenge around Sutton Park is taking place on Sunday 4th September 2016 and raising money for St Basils. Check it out below! Alternatively if you want to join 'Team St Basils' in the Birmingham Half Marathon click on the button below to email us.
And finally... another member of this team also took part in a 'wee' challenge of his own: #SevenforStBasils