When it comes to having dedicated, loyal and upbeat fundraisers the ACLT have such individuals in abundance. Introducing the UKBA Olympians (UK Border Agency Olympians), this strong team of 20 have been raising money for us since they became involved with the Gold Challenge initiative last year (Read our previous post on Gold Challenge here).
This weekend on Saturday 18 February the energetic crew decided to further their challenge and fundraising by taking part in a 5k run taking place in Croydon’s Lloyd Park.
Below we have a special report from one of the members of the team:
“The team gathered just before 9am, and were boosted by Beverley’s arrival to cheer us on. The pre-race photo was taken. We started the parkrun a little after 9am. The weather was dry if a little chilly, and the course was a bit muddy making it a little challenging in parts. 80 people lined up to start the run and with a quick “on your marks, get set, go”, we were off. The course is two laps of the park.
First lap, everyone settled into their pace and the field was quickly quite spread out. The UKBA Olympians stayed towards the back of the field, wondering what on earth we’d let ourselves in for. After the first half a kilometre, we navigated a short steep slope, leading to a slight down hill section. A chance to try and get our breath back after (probably) setting off a little too quickly. The course took us around the edge of a field and we could see an uphill section approaching, at about the 1km point. Turned the corner, up the hill, and it went on for longer than we wanted it to. Some of us managed to run up it, but others used it as a chance to walk and get their breath back, again. Then it was a nice sloping down hill nearly all the way back to the start-finish line, the half-way point (2.5km). So that was lap one done – now to do it all again. And this time we knew what was coming. And this time we knew it would hurt more. Our legs were aching from running on the muddy ground, and our lungs were burning. But we kept going. This was our Gold Challenge event and no one said it was going to be easy. Cheered on by our small team of supporters, we tackled lap two.
The overall race winner completed the course in 18:39. We did it in a slightly slower time, with our finish times ranging between 30:14 and 45:22. Heather was the first UKBA Olympian home (51st overall), with John Muir (55th) not far behind. Next home was Kate (60th), followed a minute later by Mark (66th), who saved enough energy for a sprint finish. 30 seconds later was Tony (69th). Jenny (73rd) crossed the finish line raising her arms in celebration, and Kathryn was the next UKBA Olympian home (77th). Tracy (79th) and Jill (80th) crossed the line together, supported by Tony.
We all looked suitably tired, but happy, by the end, as shown by the post-race photo.
Those of us who enjoy running, will probably do another parkrun. Those of us who don’t, are just glad that they can say they have run 5km and we’ve ticked off another sport for our Gold Challenge, as we continue to raise funds for the ACLT!”
The above race report brings such a smile to us in the ACLT offices; we TRULY appreciate the dedication the UKBA Olympians team have shown us! It’s indviduals like those mentioned above who make it possible for the ACLT to continue to work and save lives. If you’re yet to pledge your support, you can do so now by donating to the fundraising page of UKBA Olympians. Please show your support! Donate here!
To read more on the wonderful UKBA Olympians, please read their team story on the Gold Challenge website here
Thank you, thank you, thank you.