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Supporting Shelter, one stride at a time


Supporting Shelter, one stride at a time

Meet some of our remarkable colleagues as they gear up to run the 2024 London Marathon. All secured one of 5 coveted places in return for pledging to raise a remarkable £2,000 each in support of our charity partner Shelter. 

With a shared commitment to providing essential information, support, and advice to those facing homelessness or living in unsafe housing, Shelter’s mission drives them forward.

Please introduce yourself.

Lewis: I am 27 years old and from Swindon and work within our Mortgages & Financial Wellbeing team. I love football, health, fitness, and gaming. I have a two-year-old cockapoo, who I go on lots of walks with and spend time training and teaching new tricks!

Phill: I’m a senior manager in our Treasury team, a family man with a wonderful girlfriend, a beautiful daughter, and a lazy dog. I'm a fan of watching and getting involved in nearly all sports, although training for the marathon has made me question my views on running!

Kimberley: I’m a Multi-skilled Member Representative in our Weymouth branch, a mum to 5 beautiful children and happily married. I have always loved running but due to having young children, I have struggled to find time to run in recent years. About 12 years ago I used to compete in lots of races and was a lot quicker than I am now! Last year, I decided to start running again and I set myself a big challenge - to run the London marathon.

What motivated you to want to run the London Marathon for Shelter?

Lewis: I started getting into exercising last Summer and saw the opportunity to apply to run the London Marathon for Shelter. I did some research looking into the work they do and the support they provide to our society, which is incredible. I knew that having the accountability of fundraising would give me the motivation to work as hard as I could to reach my sponsorship goal. Knowing that I could make a difference by raising funds for them while pushing myself to achieve a major fitness goal was a huge motivator for me. I wanted to challenge myself physically and emotionally, and running the London Marathon for Shelter seemed like the perfect way to do it.

Phill: I decided to run the London Marathon for Shelter because I believe in their mission to provide safe and secure housing for those in need. The experience of training for and running the marathon has been transformative for me in many ways. It has pushed me beyond my limits both physically and mentally and has taught me the importance of perseverance and determination. Running for a cause greater than myself has given me a sense of purpose and fulfilment that I never knew was possible. Crossing the finish line will be more than just a personal achievement - it will be a symbol of hope and support for those who are struggling with housing insecurity. I am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference and to inspire others to take on challenges for the greater good.

Kimberley: I oversee the fundraising at our Weymouth branch and last year helped my colleague raise money for Shelter as she was running the marathon through a charity space. It got me thinking that I had always wanted to run the London Marathon and what a great way to achieve my own personal goal whilst raising money for such a worthy charity. I wanted to do something meaningful and impactful with my running, so I decided to run for Shelter, a charity that supports people struggling with homelessness and housing issues. Training has been a transformative experience for me. It has given me a sense of purpose and a drive to push myself beyond my limits. Knowing that every step I take and every mile I run is helping to raise funds for those in need has kept me motivated and focused. It has also been a great way to connect with the community and raise awareness about the important work that Shelter does. I am proud to be running for a cause that is so close to my heart and am grateful for the opportunity to make a difference through my passion for running.

Can you tell us about any specific challenges you have faced while training for this epic event?

Lewis: The biggest challenge I have faced is building up my fitness levels. Last June, I was barely able to run a mile without stopping. I have had to work extremely hard both running and, in the gym, to get myself in the best possible position to take on this challenge. The long hours of training, the early mornings, and the physical strain on my body have been incredibly tough. However, the support and encouragement from friends and family, as well as the knowledge that I am running for a cause as important as Shelter, has kept me motivated and focused. It’s been a transformative experience, pushing my limits physically and breaking through mental barriers I never thought possible.

Phill: My body was brittle before the training! I've broken a toe, pulled a calf and had a knee double in size, but mentally this has really helped in a perverse way, which will leave a longer legacy after the marathon.

Kimberley: The one challenge I have faced is finding time to train while working full-time and having a busy family life. The only way to overcome this was to get up extra early! My training days start at 5.30am for the shorter runs and between 3am - 3.30am for my long runs. I have done a few after-work runs but found these runs were not the best as I’m tired after a day at work. I have also faced the challenge of finding the right balance between pushing myself to improve my stamina and avoiding overtraining, which could lead to injuries. It has been a constant learning process to listen to my body and adjust my training schedule accordingly. Despite these challenges, the experience of training has been incredibly rewarding. Not only have I seen improvements in my physical fitness, but I have also gained a sense of mental resilience and determination that I never knew I had.

Knowing I am running for a cause as important as Shelter has given me a greater sense of purpose and motivation to push through the tough training days. Overall, the challenges I have faced whilst training for this epic event have only added to the transformative nature of the experience. I am proud to be running for Shelter and I am more determined than ever to conquer the distance.

How has the training you have done so far contributed to your personal growth?

Lewis: Training for the marathon has changed my life, both physically and mentally. I have completely changed my lifestyle and way of living, I now look after my health more, have become much fitter and stronger and re-evaluated what I want to do and aim towards in the future. The discipline and dedication required for training has also spilt over into other areas of my life, helping me to become more focused and determined in my work and personal relationships. It has taught me perseverance, resilience, and the importance of setting and working towards goals.

Phill: I feel mentally stronger through the training. It's also made me appreciate times when I'm not running e.g. just at home with my family.

Kimberley: It’s made me realise that when you really want to achieve something you find the time to make it happen. For years I had used the excuse ‘I just don’t have time to run.’ Because I am so determined to complete this marathon and I am following a training plan I made it happen… I found time to run! Even at silly o’clock in the morning. The thought of running 20 training miles never seemed possible but building my runs up week by week made it achievable. It’s funny now as I am tapering - I said to my husband 'I’m ‘only’ running 12 miles this weekend' when at the start of January, the thought of running 12 miles seemed impossible. This has made me realise that when I have completed the marathon I want to continue running. Maybe just half marathons going forward but to keep achieving little goals.

We look forward to catching up with them after the event to see how they got on …

Find out more about how we’re helping to build a better Society here.