Samantha and Katie from Team Gene talk all things London Marathon!

Hello, we’re Samantha and Katie, two running novices set to take part in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of Genetic Disorders UK! The first question we hear you ask is how on earth do two folks with little to no running experience end up signed up for a marathon? The answer is a simple one, one incredibly worthy cause.

Jeans for Genes Day came onto our radar following a denim clad day in the office, it was a charitable cause which was hard not to become passionate about supporting.  So, when a company email was circulated inviting people to apply for a charity place in the 2017 London Marathon and not only take on a huge challenge but make a significant difference to the charity through fundraising, it was impossible not to at least apply.

Admittedly, when we were first informed of our two places a feeling of absolute delight peppered with fear of the challenge ahead crossed our minds, however with a training and fundraising plan in hand we set about getting equipped for the task that lay ahead.

So how’s the training going?

For myself, Samantha, I’d have to say it’s tougher than I had expected.  Not necessarily the physical running as such (don’t get me wrong that’s hardly a walk in the park) but actually finding the time to dedicate to training whilst juggling day to day life.  The physical workouts take it out of you, but the mental challenge of training continually and building your life around a marathon schedule isn’t to be underestimated either.  What’s more training doesn’t exactly always go smoothly.  Initially I was quickly impressed with how early on running became easier.  People do tell you this but I have to admit I was a little sceptical, however from my first ever training run which lasted around 12 minutes (it’s fair to say that the marathon seemed like possibly the craziest thing I’d ever challenged myself to do!) to now being able to run for around 5 times that with relative ease.  That said, a quick skim of my running notes shows that I’ve gone from super positive long-run comments to being demoralised and cross at myself after just 5 mile distances!  What I will close by saying is that training is tough but time, dedication and will-power is sincerely heightened by knowing a charity is depending on you – for this reason I would toughly recommend to anyone considering a marathon to do so on behalf of a charitable cause.

Over to you Katie…

Hello, Katie here!  When I first told my friends and family that I had signed up to take part in the Virgin Money London Marathon, confused looks, head scratching and even some laughter ensued!  Although I often go for long walks off-road on the bonny banks of Loch Lomond near my home town; have even completed the West Highland Way on two occasions; and I’m a regular kettle-bell and yoga class attendee: I am not the fittest of folk.  I’m pretty strong but I’m somewhat lacking in stamina… marathon training is HARD.  I’m nowhere near where Samantha is with her training but I am super determined.  If I can run/walk the whole route at the pace at which I am doing I should be able to complete it in just less than 7 hours which will get me a medal and a time – a souvenir I would treasure forever.  Completing the race itself will be such a huge personal achievement.

And as for fundraising?  We’re thoroughly enjoying fundraising.  Initiatives such as a whisky tasting, for which all stock was kindly donated by our company Inver House Distillers Ltd., bake sales and dress down days in the office plus the generosity of friends, colleagues and family have driven us ever closer to our fundraising target of £4,400.  However, it doesn’t stop there, we have lots more fundraising activities that lie ahead including a raffle and, you guessed it, more whisky tastings (we couldn’t work in the whisky industry without incorporating Scotland’s finest Scotch into our fundraising efforts could we).

For anyone feeling inspired by our story we would ask kindly that you make a donation on our JustGiving page, every penny makes a difference in helping us run that little faster and edge closer to meeting (and exceeding) our London Marathon 2017 fundraising target –

Thank you!

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