Ready, Steady, Snow!

Stu is running the London Marathon to raise money for Festival of Nature activities across the summer. With only one month to go, you can sponsor him here.

We caught up with Stu to see how his training is going…

“Training for the Marathon took an interesting turn this weekend, when I found myself in a snow storm, then a media storm, then just cold and wet and in Reading.

This weekend I co-organised and then ran the Unofficial Reading Half Marathon.

Running a half marathon before the real deal (all 26.2miles of it) is advice I was given from my friend Josh. He is one of those people who actually enjoys running, and sometimes winning(!), marathons. As such, he had agreed to run the Reading Half with me and so I found myself meeting him in Reading town centre on Saturday afternoon just as the snow was beginning to settle… Cue ominous music…

We were staying in a hotel the night before and had gone to bed with an email from the Reading Half team saying the race was still going ahead in the morning unless the weather got much worse. Ominous music gets louder…

I woke up at 6:30 and checked my Twitter to see the damage, and it turned out that the race would be cancelled! Josh and I were gutted, but after some inspirational words from Josh on how we would not be the only ones gutted, (picture Braveheart meets the Breakfast Club) we decided to run the race anyway and see how many people we could get to do the same!

We started a twitter account to contact the determined runners, and through the @NotReadingHalf account, we encouraged everyone who still wanted to run to meet at the start line at 10am.

When we got to the start line we were the only people there… but by 10am we had around 50 people – and then over 100 people by the end of the race! The best fun I had all weekend was being the guy who got to shout “Ready, Steady, GO!”

Throughout the race Josh was contacted by news outlets asking for updates and seeing how the race went, and you can read the BBC News article here.

All in all, it was a fun, and ramshackle run – if absolutely exhausting (today is Thursday and I still haven’t recovered), but I met some lovely people and I’m so glad it went ahead even in an unofficial capacity! Well done to everyone who completed it and thanks to Josh for being the mad idiot who encouraged us to do it.”

Festival of Nature helps residents of Bristol and Bath to engage with the natural world through fun, educational and most importantly free activities which are designed to get people to think and act for the natural world around them. Each year 20,000 people benefit from the amazing educational activities of the Festival of Nature which empower people to better understand how nature impacts our lives, health, and wellbeing.
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