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My London Marathon Experience

Early Careers Culture

My London Marathon Experience

Completing the marathon with the support of family and colleagues was a life-changing experience for Sam.

He shares with us how his unwavering discipline, perseverance, and commitment helped him achieve what he once believed was impossible.

Please introduce yourself.

I’m Sam McVeigh and I work in our Early Careers team supporting our Graduate, Industrial Placement and Apprenticeship programmes. I haven't always been a fan of running but over the last two years found it my least hated form of exercise and last October trained to run the Bath Half Marathon. I decided to challenge myself even further and signed up for the London Marathon through Nationwide.

What motivated you to participate in the London Marathon?

Having completed several half marathons, I ran the Bath Half marathon last October with a personal best of 1hr43m, but I wanted to push myself even further to see if I could complete the training required for the full marathon distance.  When I was offered a place to run for our charity partner Shelter at the London Marathon I was buzzing! The opportunity to run in such an iconic event, alongside thousands of other runners was incredibly motivating. I was also inspired by the chance to raise money for Shelter knowing that my efforts would benefit others and this gave me the extra push I needed to commit to the training and preparation required.

How did completing the London Marathon make you feel?

Crossing the finish line was special in itself but the entire day was a celebration of the 6-months training. Running the distance with the unbelievable support from the crowd in London felt a lot easier than running down country lanes at 7am around Swindon on my own. Seeing my wife, Mum & Dad on the home straight gave me the final push to get over the finish line with 600m to go.

What was the support like from your colleagues at Nationwide?

Throughout the journey, I was supported by my colleagues at Nationwide. From Kelly in the Social Investment team who offered me the opportunity through to my peers who baked cakes to sell at Northampton to raise donations and everyone who read my marathon story and donated via JustGiving, I couldn't have asked for better support.

How can the skills and personal growth you've gained from training for the marathon be used in the workplace?

Training taught me that with a bit of a plan, some commitment, and accountability I can achieve things that previously (when I started running) I'd have thought to be impossible. A few years ago, running 2 miles felt like running a marathon to me, and it's been a real journey to get to that finish line at St James Park. The skills and personal growth I've gained from training can be directly applied to the workplace. The discipline and perseverance required to stick to a training schedule and push through physical and mental barriers can be transferred to the professional setting. Setting goals, creating a plan, and staying committed are all essential skills in the workplace. Additionally, the ability to stay focused and motivated during long, gruelling training runs can translate to staying focused and motivated on complex projects or tasks at work.

What advice would you give to someone considering running the London Marathon?

Do it! The training can be brutal, but it's been a life-changing experience and when it all comes together in a 26.2 mile celebration of your training efforts and you get your medal it's all so worth it! The atmosphere and support from the crowd is like nothing else I've experienced. The adrenaline and excitement of race day will carry you through those tough miles. Just remember to pace yourself and enjoy the journey. And most importantly, don't forget to soak in the incredible sights of London along the route. It's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you'll never forget.

Find out about our Early Careers Programmes here.