Taking on the Hackney Half!
As we gear up to the next Hackney Half on 30th April, we spoke to Paul (who ran for Headway last year) about his experience.....
Why did you want to run for Headway East London?
So the main reason was that my dad suffered a brain injury about 5 or 6 years ago – he wasn’t a direct beneficiary of HW support, but I became interested in the issue because of his experience. I wanted to help raise awareness of acquired brain injury as well as funds, and it seemed a good point, some years after the accident, to tell people about it.
Was this your first half marathon?
I’d actually done a couple of Hackney Halves before.
Tell me a bit about the event itself – what did you like about it?
Everyone’s incredibly supportive, and there’s a brilliant atmosphere on the streets on the day, with live music and kids hi-fiving you. This really helps you avoid getting bored or feeling tired.
Finally, any training or fundraising tips?
For fundraising, I feel like people prefer to sponsor a personal story that they can relate to. If you can explain why it’s a challenge and important to you, and if you can do something silly or unique, then people like that and want to engage. I found a photo of my dad from the 70s which I put on my fundraising page, and I wore a fake moustache on the run itself - just like my dad's photo.
People ultimately sponsor you as a runner and your personal story, so focus on this rather than bombarding them with too many stats. Publishing a bit about my motivation for running and my dad’s backstory on social media got a lot of comments and interest, and also sponsors!
If you’re running for the first time, I’d personally recommend getting some friends involved so you can fundraise and train together. This might not work for everyone though!