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Great City Race Greats

Great City Race Greats – Henry Wanyoike, Joseph Kibunja

1) What have you all been up to since you last participated in the Race?

Henry Wanyoike (HW): Since we last competed in the 2010 Race, we have been travelling the world and running in various different marathons for Seeing is Believing including Singapore, Dubai and Taiwan.

Joseph Kibunja (JK): We’ve also been lucky enough to visit some of the areas, hospitals and people where Seeing is Believing has transformed the lives of the local community.

2) How did you first get into racing?

HW: In Kenya, professional runners are our country’s heroes and all you want to be when you grow up is the next star. When I first lost my sight, I went through so many challenges but I knew I still wanted to run! It was from there that we managed to get into a routine and made it to our first Paralympics in Sydney, 2000.

3) How much has Paralympic sport changed since London 2012?

JK: The London 2012 Paralympic Games changed everything, suddenly people started to have Paralympic athletes at the front of their mind.

HW: All the stadiums were full, it was amazing! It is now great to see so many people getting more and more involved in Paralympic sport.

4) What does it mean to you to support the Standard Chartered Great City Race as Seeing is Believing ambassadors?

HW: It means so much to both of us, not only do we run in the Race but we also get to see the difference being made in places such as East Africa.

JK: We have seen people who were blind and through a cataract operation can now become a full member of their community. They can go and have an education and provide for their family; before it was very expensive for families to look after someone full-time.

5) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

HW: The Race in 2005 is probably our favourite; for so many people to run in aid of Seeing is Believing amazed us. It was a very special occasion for us as it’s a charity we have been working with for a long time.

6) How has the event changed since you first participated in it?

JK: There are so many more people participating but also spectating. Each year we come back there is a better atmosphere and it’s hard to run at the front because everyone seems to be getting quicker!

7) The Great City Race teams are usually colleagues, what makes your partnership with each other so special?

HW: Joseph and I are very good friends! We have been racing together for over 10 years and have enjoyed some great success. I would say it is down to hard work, good communication and determination.

8) What advice would you give our runners around the course?

HW: Don’t try and keep up with us!

JK: Take your time and go at your own pace, remember to ‘Run for a Reason’ and enjoy it.

9) You are very experienced running together; how did Paula Radcliffe and Mike Bushell get on?

JK: They were good!

HW: I thought that we would be miles quicker than them but we decided to stay and give the pair tips as they went around the course. By the last kilometre they were going very quickly.

10) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be?

HW: Spirit, fun and atmospheric!

JK: Exciting, friendly, amazing!

 

Great City Race Greats – Tricia Davenport, Wallace LLP

1) How many runners are there in your company team?

We usually have between 12-15 runners, with a mix of running ability. Our team has those who are looking to race with the elite runners right the way through to the plodders. All of the team pretend not to take it too seriously but they always finish the 5k in less than 35minutes!

2) Do you compete in the race? Are you personally in it to win it, competing against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?

Sadly I don’t! Due to my dodgy knee I can now only watch the race and share my role as the official team captain with that of the ‘official bag lady’. I usually wave our team off and then set out a picnic for after the race.

3) You’ve been the Team Captain since the beginning. Do you enjoy the role and do you receive a lot of interest from colleagues to run?

I love the role! Usually we muster a team of 12-15 from an email I send out. It’s a great occasion to get everyone together, both runners and supporters alike.

4) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

2012 was so wet, especially for ‘the bag lady!’ however, the team were still in a buoyant mood and even though everyone was soaked, there were still smiles on all our faces.

5) How has the event changed since it first started in 2005?

When we first started in 2005 there were only a few spectators and runners and it is certainly a lot busier now. 2005 was the first year Wallace LLP entered a team, and everyone that year loved the atmosphere. Since then, as soon as the event finished, we make sure to pencil next year’s date in our diary the very next day.

6) You’ve seen some great names run in the race for Seeing is Believing; who has been your favourite ambassador?

It’s great to see such a mix of celebrities run in the race, and the team are always on the look out to see if they run past anyone they recognise. I don’t know who my favourite is, but it’s great to see Paula Radcliffe and Colin Jackson make a return!

7) Does the team train for the 5km? If so, what sort of training goes into their preparation?

Most of the team do their own preparations, a few of the runners will come together to jog at lunch but on the whole they pitch up and race!

8) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be?

Motivating, fun and inclusive!

 

Great City Race Greats – Zoe Jones, Piper Smith Watton LLP

1) How many runners are there in your company team?

We have 12 dedicated runners in our team and the fitness standard is varied! Everyone has previously crossed the finish line within a respectable 40 minutes.

2) Do you compete in the race? Are you personally in it to win it, competing against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?

I have completed the race many times and whilst I have absolutely no chance of winning, I must admit that my competitive side takes over once the starting gun is fired!

3) You’ve been the Team Captain since the beginning. Do you enjoy the role and do you receive a lot of interest from colleagues to run?

I relish the role of Team Captain and every year I encourage my colleagues to enter. I also try to recruit my non running colleagues to come and cheer us along on race day. We have a handful of dedicated runners who sign up each year, together with new employees who are taking part for the first time.

4) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

Several years ago, it rained heavily from start to finish. We were already soaked through before the race started and by the time we had crossed the finish line we were well and truly drenched. It certainly was not my most enjoyable Standard Chartered Great City Race!

5) How has the event changed since it first started in 2005?

The event appears to have grown since it first started. I would also say that it has been much better organised over the years. All in all, I would say it is a much better experience and atmosphere now than it was 10 years ago.

6) You’ve seen some great names run in the race for Seeing is Believing; who has been your favourite ambassador?

As a female runner, I would have to say that Paula Radcliffe has been my favourite ambassador so far and I’m looking forward to seeing her race this year.

7) Do you train for the 5km? If so, what sort of training goes into your preparation?

I have been running for many years, mainly to maintain my fitness levels and also for general well-being. I train all year round and run approximately 30 miles per week. I don’t increase my mileage leading up to the run as my mileage is already fairly high. I would however like to knock a minute or two off my finish time, so perhaps I should consider including some speed training!

8) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be?

Atmospheric, rewarding & fun.

 

Great City Race Greats – Paula Radcliffe, Colin Jackson & Noel Thatcher

1) Noel, what have you been up to since you last participated in the race?

It has been a pretty busy year for running as I did the London Marathon a few weeks ago, which I ambled around in a 3 hours 19 minutes. I’ve been working a lot with Seeing is Believing as an ambassador, and I’ve also been to the Jersey Marathon for the second time – yet again, another amazing event.

2) Paula, do you think there is any hope that our athletes can secure a medal this summer?

There are some great British prospects participating at the 2014 Commonwealths Games, and if I were to stick my neck out, I would certainly say to keep any eye on 800m athlete, Andrew Osagie. On the women’s side of things Hannah England and Laura Muir are certainly names everyone should be aware of this summer.

3) Colin, you must be excited ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer; are there any athletes that we might not have heard of that we should keep an eye on?

This is a tough question, most probably I’d have to pick Katarina Johnson-Thompson – she’s already done very well picking up a silver medal in the long jump, at the World Indoor Championships this year. At the Commonwealth Games I think we’ll see her do something remarkable in her specialist event – the heptathlon. It will be really interesting to see how close she gets to Jessica Ennis-Hill’s British record, as she’s a very talented young lady.

4) Colin, as a proud Welshman, who do you think has the best chance of bringing a medal back to Wales?

The weightlifter Michaela Breeze; I’ve known her for a very long time and it’s great to see her as an athlete wearing the Welsh vest again. At first Michaela was going to retire but the draw of representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow has really inspired her to return, so let’s see if she can bring a medal home.

5) Noel, Paralympic athletes will again be on show this summer at the Commonwealth Games; do you think we’ll see as much success as we saw at London 2012?

Absolutely, 2002 was the last time the Commonwealth Games were here in Britain and the effect it had on the athletes’ performances was incredible. I’m sure Glasgow will host an amazing Games and the athletes will lift their standard accordingly.

6) Noel, how much has Paralympic sport changed since London 2012 ahead of the Commonwealth Games this summer?

London 2012 changed the Paralympic sporting map permanently. I think we’re going to see some huge excitement in the mainstream press before the Games this summer. The landscape has definitely changed and as a Paralympic athlete it’s something we could only dream of when I started competing back in 1984.

We live in an age now where it’s perfectly normal to see Paralympic athletes featured on the back page of the broadsheets. Two years ago we couldn’t get in our local papers and a Paralympic athlete’s profile has never been better; an improvement not just for sport but for the wider disability community.

7) This summer will mark two years to go until Rio 2016; do you think athletes will have that at the back of their minds ahead of the Commonwealth Games?

CJ: Athletes always have whatever the goal in mind is on their mind. At the moment, that is the Commonwealth Games so that’s where their focus will solely be.

PR: Definitely, that and the European Championships. Both are a fantastic stepping stone to the bigger levels of competition.

8) What does it mean to you to support the Standard Chartered Great City Race as one of Seeing is Believing’s ambassadors?

PR: It’s a huge honour and such a great event. It’s really good to see the corporate and sporting worlds coming together, and there are so many parallels such as goal setting and working towards achievements between the two. Everyone will be making a difference and giving back a little bit, as we will be helping to raise funds and awareness for Seeing is Believing charity.

CJ: I think it’s really important and sport in itself is a good cause. There is a dual benefit when you’re participating in something in the knowledge that you’re doing a good deed. I want all the other runners to really appreciate how much they can change people’s lives by participating, and they are changing them for the better.

NT: I’m in my fourth year as an ambassador for Seeing is Believing and I am very proud to be associated with it. It’s great to see the commitment on behalf of the bank from the CEO downwards, and the impact that the funds have had on a worldwide level. It’s a global initiative that tackles real world problems from the ground upwards and I’m hugely proud to be a part again.

9) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

CJ: I think in 2008 it lashed down with rain and with the rain came people’s great attitudes!

NT: They’ve all been amazing in different ways, 2012 stands out when I got to be guided around by Mike Bushell. Last year I got to run with Richard Holmes; to be able to run with the CEO Europe of Standard Chartered is incredible, and he’s definitely getting fitter so watch out for him on race night!

10) What advice would you give our runners around the course?

PR: It might be an idea to get together with some friends who are also running the Race so as so you’re together and motivating each other. The race is achievable and you can generate a lot of fun from training and participating in it.

NT: Start early, build slowly and consistency is the main thing. You’ve got time to build up over the next two months and if you have any niggles get them checked out fairly early. The training advice on the website is a good place to start.

CJ: Set a time for yourself because it’s about your own goals. You definitely need to look into nutrition: keep hydrated, but don’t worry about carbohydrate loading as it’s only a 5k race.

11) Between the three of you, who do you think will be the quickest around the course?!

NT: Even an injured Paula would still beat us, but Colin’s a quiet one, so he’s probably been doing some secret preparation!

CJ: Noel, no argument about that; no disrespect to Paula!

PR: I don’t think 5K is really Colin’s distance so I might beat him!

12) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be?

NT: Inspirational, unique, and iconic

CJ: Atmospheric, fun and energetic

PR: Memorable, special and philanthropic

 

Great City Race Greats – Marilyn Winslow, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

1) How many runners are there in your company team?

We usually have a team of 30 – 35 runners

2) Do you compete in the race, are you personally in it to win it, against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?  

Yes I have competed in the race every year bar one when I miserably had to stand as a spectator and watch as I was injured.  I am definitely not in it to win it – I am probably the oldest team captain and will be 64 when I run this year’s race.  I usually average about 34 mins so I am pleased with that.

3) You’ve been the Team Captain since the beginning. Do you enjoy the role and do you receive a lot of interest from colleagues to run?! 

Yes I do enjoy the role of being Team Captain.  We do get quite a lot of interest, particularly for this race.  It is very well organised and everyone likes the route. It is also a great social occasion for us all to meet up.

4) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

2005 stands out the most – we were so looking forward to running in the City and had to go to Hyde Park because of the July 7 bombs but we were grateful to the organisers that it wasn’t cancelled altogether.

5) How has the event changed since it first started in 2005?

It has become much larger over the years and the route has changed slightly but everything else remains the same.

6) You’ve seen some great names run in the race for Seeing is Believing, who has been your favourite ambassador?

I remember the year that Paula Radcliffe waved us all off – she didn’t run though as she was expecting her first child.

7) Do you train for the 5km?! If so, what sort of training goes into the preparation?

Yes I do train.  I usually aim to get out 3 times a week for up to 40 mins, mostly running in my lunch hour round the river.  I used to run much larger distances but age is catching up on me now. 

8) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be?

Fun, exciting, rewarding. 

 

Great City Race Greats – Ben Shearer, Standard Chartered Bank

1) How has the event changed since it first started in 2005?

It’s got a lot bigger! The first had to be relocated to Hyde Park due to the London bombings. There were still a huge number of runners taking part but it feels like year on year the race had grown, not just in terms of participants but the atmosphere around the course too. I’ve also noticed that more runners from Standard Chartered Bank are taking part every year.

2) Are you personally in it to win it, against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?

In it to win it! Or finish as far up the field as I can. I run seriously; I am currently training for the Virgin Money London Marathon doing roughly 90 miles per week. However, I do enjoy the experience every year as well!

3) What is it about the event that brings you back each year?

A few things: I love to race and also the fact that this event is organised by my employers, who contribute on top of our entry fees to Seeing is Believing; I am proud to be a part of it!

4) You’ve seen some great names run in the race for Seeing is Believing, who has been your favourite ambassador?

My favourite is Noel Thatcher, the visually impaired Paralympian. Noel’s achievements are simply inspiring. When I came second in 2011 I was talking to him after the race and he mentioned he had run a low 14 min 5k in the Paralympics, which is very swift.

5) Have you participated in any other of the Standard Chartered Races around the world?

Yes, my first marathon was in 2002 when I ran the SCB Hong Kong marathon off five weeks training! At this point I didn’t take athletics so seriously and it was one of the hardest races I have done, especially with the hills created by bridges / underpasses between HK Island and Kowloon.

I have also run the SCB Singapore Half Marathon and the SCB Mumbai HM, and both were great experiences albeit in hotter conditions than we’re used to here!

6) You've been involved from the start. Do you have a most memorable year and, if so, what made it unforgettable?

Yes, 2011 when I finished second and got on to the podium in the middle of the HAC which was fantastic. Hopefully I can get back to the podium this year. Every year is memorable though.

7) Do you train for the 5km? If so, what sort of training goes into the preparation?

Yes, I train all year round and specifically for the 5k as we enter summer. I train at my local track once or twice a week doing ‘interval’ sessions – these are brutal sessions involving several repetitions which you run as hard as possible. An example might be 5x 1km with 90secs recovery or 16x 400m with 45secs recovery.

8) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be? 

Fast, Frantic and Fun!

 

 

Great City Race Greats – David Wallace, DLA Piper UK LLP

1) How many times have you competed in the race?

I’ve been competing in the race ever since it started.

2) How many runners are there in your company team?

We normally set the limit at 65 but we are always over-subscribed.

3) When you’ve competed in the race, are you personally in it to win it, against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?

We have a mixture of runners who want to set a good time and others who just want to finish.  I personally like to beat sub 20 minutes, however, it gets harder the older you get.

4) Does your company support a charity by running the race?

We don’t have a collective charity however some of the runners like to individually raise money for their chosen charity.

5) Are you the team captain? If so, do you enjoy the role and do you receive a lot of interest from colleagues to run?

I have been the team captain for 9 years now and do really enjoy the role, especially once all the paperwork is completed! The firm has lots of keen runners who look forward to the run every year and others who simply want a free t-shirt!

6) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

I guess 2005 stands out in my memory, when the London bombings happened the same week as the race.  The race was re-scheduled a few weeks later at Hyde Park and the turn-out was exceptional.

 

 

Great City Race Greats – Alan Lightfoot, Worley Parsons

1) How many times have you competed in the race?

In all of them so far, since the first in 2005.

2) How many runners are there in your company team?

19 this year although we have had up to 30 previously.

3) When you’ve competed in the race, are you personally in it to win it, against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?

First and foremost I’m there to run against the clock but it’s great to enjoy the atmosphere too.

4) Does your company support a charity by running the race?

No, we don’t use the race to support a charity.

5) What is it about the event that brings you back each year?

It has to be the atmosphere and also the course through the closed-off City streets.

6) Are you the team captain? If so, do you enjoy the role and do you receive a lot of interest from colleagues to run?

I am the team captain and it’s a role I do enjoy a lot. A number of our employees have continued running after doing the events and people often approach me for advice.

7) Does any particular year stand out from the rest?

Well, 2006 was the first year on the “proper” course (2005 was held in Hyde Park due to the 7/7 bombings) so that was probably the most memorable year when it all really began.

 

 

Great City Race Greats – Linda Boscic, Senior Project Manager at Lloyds Register Group

1) How many years have you been involved in the race?

We’ve been entering the race ever since it started and, this year, we have a team of 28 runners taking part on 11 July. We’re all looking forward to it a lot!

2) Are you personally in it to win it, against the clock or just there to soak up the fun atmosphere?

I start by convincing myself that it’s all about being against the clock but then the enjoyment of the event, crowds and my colleagues comes into play.

3) What is it about the event that brings you back each year?

It’s an event that encourages those who have not run before to have a goal. We also have an ‘inter team department competitiveness’ that seems to always surface at this event!

4) Are you the team captain? If so, do you enjoy the role and do you receive a lot of interest from colleagues to run?

I’ve been team captain every year. We don’t even advertise the event office wide and still receive a lot of interest. If we did promote it more widely it’s likely it would become too big a job to manage! It’s a role I enjoy, getting people interested and involved, and seeing them achieve. It’s the only corporate race we participate in as colleagues but certainly the perfect one.

5) Does your company support a charity by running the race?

We support our own charities however we’re pleased that a proportion of our entry fee for the race goes towards the official race beneficiary, Seeing is Believing.

 

 

Great City Race Greats – Lisa Thompson, Assistant Race Director/Operations, London Marathon Ltd

1) How did the initial idea for a Great City Race come about?

There was a desire to have an event which would appeal to the thousands of people who work in the City on a weekday evening that, crucially, they could get to easily and quickly from their offices. There are many regular runners who work in the City and to give them the opportunity to run on traffic free roads past iconic sights such as the Bank of England was also a driving force.

2) How has the event changed since it first started in 2005?

Not many changes really. We listened to the quicker runners and now protect an area at the front of the start line up for them. The course has been tweaked a few times to allow for ongoing building works in the City. The assembly area has stayed the same throughout and was originally identified by looking at a map of the City and searching for a good sized green space. The HAC was the only place that offered this and they have been supportive of the event since year one.

3) Closing off the roads around the Square Mile during rush hour is some feat. How do you make it happen?

It was crucial to get great support from the City of London and the City of London Police, supplemented by others such as TfL buses who have to divert a number of routes that evening to keep the race route clear. 

Once the plan for closing the roads is written and agreed by all parties it’s a case of making it happen on the night, with police support and stewards on every road junction to implement the closures, all coordinated from the event control room who are watching CCTV cameras and talking to people on the ground. 

Another aspect which often catches people by surprise is that when you close a road during a busy time of day it can take 10 minutes or so for all the residual traffic to “drain” away from the closure.  That is why road closures come in 45 minutes before race start.  It’s also why the race start is at 19:15 – to avoid the absolute rush hour peak.

We also work closely with TfL who have the pan London picture – it’s easy to forget that a closure can have an impact on roads some distance away. Of course when the event is over the whole process has to be done in reverse to reopen the roads and get back to business as usual. 

4) The level of organisation required on race day must be phenomenal. Sorting the road closures is one hurdle but what would you say are your other biggest challenges?

We are under pressure from the City not to have infrastructure in place more than 24 hours in advance.  So a crew works through the night the evening before putting out barriers and cones on the route.  We have a one day hire at the HAC too, so nothing is in place there before 06:00 on race day. It’s a swift build and derig so challenging and tiring!

5) You've been involved from the start. Do you have a most memorable year and, if so, what made it unforgettable? 

One year, 2007 I think, we were having a mini heatwave with temperatures in the 90’s. We were concerned about the implications, brought in extra water, warned runners to take it easy and fortunately all went smoothly.  But it was extremely hot and working in that heat all day and evening was challenging, everyone was searching for shade!

6) The race sells out every year. What makes it so popular in your eyes?

It’s easy to get to, there’s a great atmosphere before and afterwards at the HAC, people can drift off to their favourite local if they want to, it’s a Thursday so almost the end of the week too.  It’s always good to see groups from companies arrive together in their t-shirts and swapping war stories over a drink afterwards.  Like any social activity, especially in large companies, people have a chance to mix with people they wouldn’t do during a normal working day.

7) If you could sum up the race in three words what would they be?

Great race, great city (yep, I know that’s four!)

 

 

The Investec Zebra has become a race day favourite. What is it about the Standard Chartered Great City Race which draws the Investec Zebra and the team of 100+ Investec employees to the event each year?

Primarily because it’s a fantastic cause but the race also draws on teamwork and a strong competitive spirit; attributes that are closely aligned to Investec’s values.

Does the Investec Zebra need to train for the 5KM?! If so, what sort of training goes into the preparation?

The zebra does not need any special training, he is always ready for the challenge!

Is there more than one Investec Zebra? How are they selected for the race?

It’s never hard to find a volunteer to be the zebra, we normally have to draw a name from a hat.

As the team mascot, what does the Investec Zebra stand for?

The Zebra is a visual symbol of our ‘Out of the Ordinary’ philosophy designed to highlight the unique nature of Investec. Hopefully it will inspire our runners to go that bit quicker!

As the only animal to take part in the race, attracting attention is inevitable. What’s the most memorable thing someone has said or asked the Investec Zebra?!

We are often asked why zebras have distinctive stripes: there is no definitive answer but it is believed that zebras use the stripes as a sophisticated camouflage.

What other challenges (running or other) does the Investec Zebra compete in?

The Investec Zebra is a big Tottenham Hotspur fan and regularly makes trips to see the Investec Derby, England’s Test matches, and the GB women’s hockey team in action. However, in terms of competition, it is saving its energy for the Standard Chartered Great City Race.

Will the Investec Zebra be taking part again this year on 11 July?

Absolutely!!

 

 

‘Great City Race Greats’ - It’s a Family Affair

The world of sport is littered with famous sporting couples. Think Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, Gabby and Kenny Logan, and Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki, to name a few. The Standard Chartered Great City Race has its very own famous duo too. Phil and Emily Wicks rule the road when it comes to the annual 5k corporate run around the closed off streets of the Square Mile. 

The results speak for themselves. Last year, the couple, who married in 2010, achieved ‘the double’ by winning both the men’s and women’s races, for the third time. It was Phil’s fifth overall victory and Emily’s fourth consecutive title.

We caught up with Phil, who works at Legal & General, and Emily, who works at Punter Southall, to tell us why they’re always among the first to register…

For the past 4 years, you’ve ‘done the double’ by winning the male and female categories in the SCGCR. What do you both enjoy about competing in the SCGCR?

It’s great to race through the streets of London with our work colleagues. The atmosphere is fantastic with the streets lined with supporters and the city workers cheering everybody on and it’s a great opportunity to socialise with work colleagues before and after the race. We also love the fact that the race has raised so much money for good causes.

Given your success in the SCGCR, do your colleagues expect you both to win the race each year and do you get any banter from them before the race?

We never expect to win but it’s always a great feeling to cross the line first. There’s plenty of banter between colleagues and rival companies which all adds up to make the race such an enjoyable experience and everyone really looks forward to it each year.

Has your success in the SCGCR managed to inspire any colleagues to take up running?

We both run for companies that encourage active participation in sport and have a history of good turnouts at the corporate races. However, we are very competitive and encourage our team mates to train hard in the lead up to the race so we can try to win the team event. Phil’s team (Legal & General) has had lots of success and has won the event many times but Emily’s team (Punter Southall) were really pleased to win the mixed team race in 2011!

Phil, do you think you can break the 14 minute mark at the SCGCR? What do you need to break it… the right conditions, the right competitor?

To break 14 minutes on the road would be fantastic but would be very difficult to do. If the conditions are good this year, I will give it my best shot!

How easy is it to juggle work with your running schedules?

We both have full-time jobs so training has to fit around our Monday to Friday working hours. We both train in the morning before starting work and then again afterwards so life is pretty hectic but it is also very rewarding.

Do you train together over a 5km distance?

We both compete for different clubs (Emily for Aldershot, Farnham and District AC and Phil for Belgrave Harriers), so we train with different groups and rarely get a chance to run together. We enjoy training for the 5km distance but we also train over longer distances too and often cover around 80 to 100 miles a week.

How did you meet? Was it through running?

Yes, we met whilst running for England in an international race in Germany in 2006 (although we didn’t properly meet until the flight home when we happened to be sitting next to each other!). A few weeks later we saw each other again at another cross country race and started seeing each other away from the mud and hills shortly after! The training is a huge time commitment so it is nice that we share this common interest and are very supportive of each other.

The SCGCR is all about getting colleagues across the Square Mile out for a fun evening together. Do you think events like this help promote team work in the office?

Definitely. There is a real buzz in our offices around the time of the SCGCR and even colleagues who don’t compete in the race come along to support the team.

Do you think it’s important for companies to encourage their employees to pursue a healthy and active lifestyle?

Yes, it’s really important to have a balanced lifestyle and taking part in sport or leisure activities is a great way to unwind after work.

Are you both planning to compete in the 2013 SCGCR?

Yes, we are both looking forward to competing in the 2013 SCGCR and trying to defend our individual titles!

What are your goals for running in 2013?

We are both competing in the Virgin London Marathon in 2013 – Emily is making her debut at the distance and Phil is hoping to run a new personal best (currently – 2:15:38 – Amsterdam 2011) to gain selection for Great Britain at the World Championships this summer.

 ‘Great City Race Greats’ is a regular feature in the newsletter. Have you got a story to tell about your experience of the race? Have you competed in the race every year since it started in 2005? Are you now a seasoned runner having been inspired to take it up by the race? If you do, we want to hear from you. 

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“Every team of four who enter this year’s will provide enough funding to train 1 health worker in Primary Eye Care”