Lucinda Toole

1. What gets you up in the morning?

Normally, my 3-times-snoozed alarm. I always do some sort of exercise in the morning – it’s usually yoga, unless I feel up to a weekday morning run… The summer is better than the winter: I purposefully set my alarm for 15 minutes before I need to wake up, because if the sun isn’t shining, I’m going to want to sleep forever.

2. Describe your sporting style in 3 words?

Black, black, grey

3. What is the best piece of kit you currently own?

I have a discounted pair of Nike running shoes I bought years ago and still use for running and the gym. I bought a pair of Asics before my most recent Half, assured they were the best of the best, but quickly went back to the old reliables. I’ll be buying a new pair before the half marathon, but this time because my pink ones are losing support after 4 years, but I think I’ll go back to Nike!

4. What inspired you sign up?

Aside from wanting to raise money for SHP, I have a soft spot for running and the Hackney Half was a good way to kick myself back into it, since in the past year training to be a yoga teacher has somewhat dominated my fitness regime. When I was in year 9, I came last in a county cross country race. I hated running, and thought I couldn’t physically do it – it was a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Then when I got to university and no longer had the 4 dance classes a week I had been attending throughout all my teens, so I started to run. Then I moved to Paris, and wanted to mark my time there with the Paris Half Marathon. Since then, I’ve run another Half and a 10k race. Year 9 me would not believe her eyes. I’m not quick, but I love the feeling of running and how great it is to clear your head, so I want to make sure it stays a part of my life.

5. What are most you dreading about the race day?

The final 3k. From experience, I know that the buzz of the day propels you along for the majority of the race, but I also know that in the past I’ve expended all my energy early on, leaving me running on empty for the final push. We live and we learn.

6. What time are you aiming for?

While I don’t care about speed, I ran my first Half just under 2 hours, so the aim is to beat myself by a minute or 2. I know I have it in me!

 

Amber Williams

 1. What gets you up in the morning?

I try to exercise in morning (other than on a Monday…that just isn’t happening). In the winter I normally do some combination of spinning, HIIT or boxing, but in the summer I’m all about wild swimming in the Serpentine. I meet my mum in Hyde Park, we paddle around putting the world to right whilst trying to avoid fellow birds, then have a coffee in the Serpentine café and head to work. As unconvincing as it may sound, there’s no better place to be on a hot summer morning than in a murky brown pond, surrounded by swans, looking over London.

2. Describe your sporting style in 3 words?

Lulu through’n’through

3. What is the best piece of kit you currently own?

My Kit Sound headphones. If I tried to run without music, I wouldn’t get to the end of my road. Drowning out the sound around me is half the appeal of running. Half an hour, an hour or however long to be completely alone with my thoughts, no distractions, is such a treat – I live for that stolen moment of solitude in everyday life.

4. What inspired you sign up?

Raising money for SHP was my main motivation, followed by the fact that I ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon for SHP in October and – much to my surprise – loved it! I loved the atmosphere, I loved the energy, I loved the challenge and most of all I loved the feeling of achievement at the end. I admit, my first thought when I crossed the finish line was, “how on earth does anyone run a full marathon”, but for me half felt like the perfect combination of stretching yet satisfactory. So when the Hackney Half was proposed, I thought why not do it again! The Hackney Half is also supposed to be one of the best races on the metaphorical circuit, so all the more reason for taking part.

5. What are most you dreading about the race day?

Two things: first, the porter loos; second, the final mile. The porter loos are self-explanatory… think over 1000 people gathered early in the morning, heavily caffeinated and undeniably nervous about the ordeal that lies ahead of them. Enough said. The final mile because from my experience, that was break point. It took all the energy I could muster (plus a couple of high-fives from Mum and Dad) to get me through it.

6. What time are you aiming for?

Inevitably I want to beat my previous time, which was 1h38. If I do say so myself, that record is utterly ludicrous, I don’t know how I did it, and I’m certainly not going to scratch it this time around. But it’s important to aim for something.

 

Joyce Esser

1. What gets you up in the morning?

Knowing that I need to start training for this half marathon, because it is drawing ever closer.

2. Describe your sporting style in 3 words?

Fully kitted football player (soz 4 words)

3. What is the best piece of kit you currently own?

My apple watch, it’s not really a piece of kit, I’m but very happy with the fact that it tracks my movement and has my music on it, so I don’t have to carry around my phone.

4. What inspired you sign up?

I wanted to challenge myself by running more than just a casual 5km during hockey season, and knowing that we are doing it for SHP gave me that extra push.

5. What are most you dreading about the race day?

Every single Mile

6. What time are you aiming for?

I really just hope to finish! This will be my first every ‘long’ distance run so I’ll be happy with whatever time I get.

 

Susannah Cohen

1. What gets you up in the morning?

The threat of missing a gym class and getting penalised by my gym! But if I haven’t got an early class then it’s not so easy…somehow the threat of being late for work doesn’t seem to have the same impact.

2. Describe your sporting style in 3 words?

Perhaps overly jazzy

3. What is the best piece of kit you currently own?

It’s a toss-up. I take my feet very seriously when it comes to running so I’m never without a pair of New Balance Fresh Foam trainers (I must be on my 5th or 6th pair by now), or it could be a new Nike running top which just makes me feel FLAIR.

4. What inspired you sign up?

I’d reached a bit of a ceiling with my exercise regime and really wanted something to aim for and to push me further. I’d never run a race at all despite running every week so it felt like an obvious next step. Oh and of course doing it for a great cause helps too.

5. What are most you dreading about the race day?

I think for me this is going to be a psychological more than a physical battle, I’m hoping I can just enjoy it rather than getting too stressed by comparing myself to everyone around me! And also how on earth I’m going to manage needing 10 nervous wees before the start…

6. What time are you aiming for?

I should just be happy to finish given I’ve never done anything like this before, but for my pride I would love to get a sub-2 hour time…

Categories: Travel & Lifestyle

BY ENGINEER Joyce Esser

Joyce.Esser@thevalueengineers.com