Taking part in the Royal Parks Half Marathon was a personal challenge for Joe and here he reflects on his experiences and the support he received from Groundwork to achieve his goal.

Phot of Joe at the Royal Parks Half Marathon

A personal challenge to support a cause close to my heart.

Last year I took park in the Royal Parks Half Marathon for Groundwork, and I wanted to share my experiences of the event. I’ve always enjoyed running but felt like I hadn’t really been pushing myself in the last year, so I wanted to find a challenge event to motivate me and make sure I was working towards something. I’ve ran half marathons before, and always found them to be a great way to see a new city, so the Royal Parks Half Marathon seemed like a perfect opportunity to improve my fitness and see the sights of London! I also wanted to fundraise for Groundwork to help support the brilliant work they do. I was particularly interested in raising funds for Green Doctor, which is becoming an increasingly vital service with the ongoing cost of living crisis, as more and more vulnerable people are struggling to manage their household energy bills. 

Training for the event and the support I received.

Around four months before the event, I started increasing the length of my runs, and the number I was doing each week. I find I can get bored easily on long runs, so I kept myself entertained by listening to podcasts. I also made sure I was trying new routes each week, which often helped me run further than planned without realising it!  

Before the event the Groundwork team sent me everything I needed to know, and even met me before it started to say where they would be standing and to wish me luck. The support I got leading up to the event, and on the day, was fantastic. The team cheering me on really kept me motivated. The running vest they sent me wasn’t bad either, and still gets used! I was really lucky with the weather on the day, so I had perfect conditions for running through some of London’s best parks and seeing so many iconic landmarks. 

Surpassing my fundraising goal.

I managed to raise £600 for Groundwork, which was much more than I was expecting. I reached out to everyone at my workplace initially which helped me raise a good chunk of my fundraising target, and family and friends chipped in too thanks to sharing the JustGiving link on my social media. The Groundwork fundraising team also recommended I put the link in my email footer at work, and this helped me to raise £100 from a supplier we work with, which meant I surpassed my original target. 

I would definitely participate in another challenge event for Groundwork. The tips they provided me with to help my fundraising really worked, and their support on the day was greatly appreciated, especially as I was running this one on my own! 

Notes to Editors

For more information please contact: media@groundwork.org.uk

About Groundwork

Groundwork is a federation of charities with a collective mission to take practical action to create a fair and green future in which people, places, and nature thrive. We support communities and businesses to build capacity and resilience in order to tackle hardship, achieve a just transition to net-zero and help nature recover in a way that reduces inequality and leads to healthier, happier lives for all: www.groundwork.org.uk