Jenni Block is taking part in the Children on the Edge Chichester Half Marathon in October and she's decided to fundraise as part of our Run for Refugees Team, raising over £250 so far.
We interviewed Jenni, who only started running in January this year, about her training, how she's feeling about the race, and why she decided to support Children on the Edge.
What made you sign up to the Chichester Half Marathon?
I started running in January, having decided I needed to do something to improve my fitness. I had tried running in the past and hadn't enjoyed it but this time something stuck. My new found enjoyment for running led me to want to try running in an event and the Chichester Half Marathon, being local to me, was the logical choice.
Is this your first half marathon?
I haven't run a half marathon, or any formal race, before!
How is your training going? Are you following a plan?
I started using the couch to 5k running app, I am now moving on to an app called 13.one which sets up a training plan for you based around your race date, allowing me to build up strength and endurance to be in perfect shape for the race.
What’s the hardest part about training?
The hardest part is sometimes finding the motivation, I work in a physically demanding job and some days I don't want to go for a run when I get home; but the support from friends and family has encouraged me. With the recent heatwave it has been harder than ever because I want to wait until it's cooler which often means going out at 9pm at night, by which point I have wound down from the day and am not feeling up to going out!
What’s the best part about training?
Training has improved my health, not just physically, but mentally. I am sleeping better and feel better in myself, waking up with far more energy and in turn am eating better and walking with more confidence.
Had you heard of Children on the Edge before signing up to the race?
I had heard of them, through a friend at university, but didn't know a lot about the charity and its' work.
What made you decide to fundraise for Children on the Edge?
Reading more into the charity, and the great work they do, I felt that this was a deserving cause and I would turn a run that was initially selfishly about me into something better for those in need. It allowed my friends and family to show their support for me whilst boosting both the profile and funding for an under recognised charity and more vulnerable members of society.
What would you say to anyone who was thinking about raising money for Children on the Edge at the Chichester Half Marathon?
If you're running the race, use this opportunity to raise the profile of this great charity. There are children suffering the effects of political choices across the world, innocent and vulnerable young people being punished for the choices of others. Every penny raised helps create a new positive environment for these children.
How are you feeling about the race itself?
Honestly? I've never been more scared in my life. As someone who has spent the past few years living a relatively sedentary/inactive life, this is one of the biggest challenges I've ever set myself. I'm relying on the faith my friends and family have in me, plus the incentive of helping out such a great charity to push me on the day, across the finish line.
If you'd like to join Jenni and our fabulous team of Run for Refugees runners at the Chi Half this October, sign up here.