Sunday 1 August 2021 will go down in the annals of our community as a historic day. The first time our community has taken a cohort of runners to a half marathon event. Whilst running has existed on the peripheries for many years, on this day we thrust it into the spot light. This was the first time ever we had put together and delivered a programme to successfully support our members in achieving the second holy grail of running, 13.1 miles, at the London Landmarks Half Marathon.
The day begin in chaotic fashion. Runners complaining recent wedding biryanis had left them with tight tops. The Jubilee line deciding to throw in its usual curve ball of delays. But throughout our training we had prepared our runners to deal with adversity and alhumdullilah they were all able to make it to the start line in Khoja time!
As the run got underway our runners immersed themselves in the camaraderie that is on display on race day. Sharing their own running journey with others, motivating and supporting everyone around them. Soaking up the friendly atmosphere put on by the organisers. Some runners pumped out incredible times, others battled through adversity to reach the finish line. Much like our life in this world, everyone’s journey was different but everyone’s final result was the same, a successful finish at the London Landmarks Half Marathon.
So what has the last 2.5 months taught us? Here at SJ Running we often try and think of how we can use running to make us a better person. It isn’t just a mindless, yet healthy, activity we indulge in. In the past we have spoken about how it can be used to improve our patience. And this particular event has taught us about the act of giving.
Donors, supporters and sponsors giving with tremendous generosity to support children in Iraq, through our wonderful collaborators at Who Is Hussein. Runners giving 100% commitment in their training. Families giving their support in allowing runners the time to train. Stanmore Jafferys giving its time to train the runners. When the human being, when society, opens it heart and gives, with no expectation of return, truly wonderful things happen.
So what next for running? Hopefully SJ Running has whet the appetite of the community when it comes to running. Hopefully this will inspire a few more to reach out to us to take that first step. Hopefully this will push others to take on a new challenges. Hopefully this will push the class of 2021 to think about the holy grail of running, a full marathon. Who knows? Whatever people decide, whatever activities we put on, Stanmore Jafferys is here to support you, every step of the way.