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From zero to marathon in a matter of months

What happened when people told K2 staff member Lauren she wouldn’t be able to run a marathon? You guessed it… she ran a marathon.

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Lauren’s motivation behind signing up to the marathon was to help raise money for the MS Society – a fantastic charity, and a great cause. Her ultimate goal was just to finish the 26.2 miles and, if possible, complete this in less than 6 hours.

Lauren admits she underestimated the challenge she had signed up for but the motivation she got from people saying she wouldn’t finish the race inspired her even more to succeed.

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She was completely new to fitness and had never trained at any level – she only started training 6 months before the marathon date, in November 2017!

Lauren said:

“My first training sessions were on the track doing intervals of 60 second running and 60 second walking, and eventually moving into small distance runs split between walking and running.

“Three months into my training, I started taking part in indoor cycling classes as these are low impact, which I found helped so much with my fitness. I continued to run but had ankle and calf injuries in January and February which set me back. After a few Osteopath sessions with Jonathan from David Such Osteopathy here at K2 Crawley, I stated to see improvements and was able to keep training.

“I also participated in a lot of staff classes and went out for runs with my friends and colleagues at freedom leisure, who operate K2 Crawley, who were also training for the Brighton Marathon (Sarah Roberts and Georgie Martin). Without the support of both of these girls, I don’t think I would have been able to complete this massive challenge.”

Moving into the last couple of months of training Lauren started upping the miles, doing 2 to 3 runs a week with the longest distance being 17 miles.

“When the day itself came around I still didn’t think I would finish the marathon. I was so scared and nervous but having the girls with me at the start really helped.

“For the first half of the race, I felt good, but when I got to around the 10 mile point I started feeling pain in my knee and it became more and more difficult. At around 16 miles I felt like I wouldn’t be able to finish. I’m lucky I had so much support from friends and family on the day which really encouraged me to keep going.

“The last 6 miles or so were horrible, and I would say the worst pain I’ve ever been in. Somehow I managed to find the strength to keep going, and when I got to mile 25 my uncle and dad ran the last mile with me and at this point I knew I would finish.

“I was in shock that I finished and was still in such pain I couldn’t take it all in. It wasn’t until the next day when I got all the messages from people congratulating me that my achievement started to sink in.

“I now feel healthier and better within myself. I’ve lost lots of weight and have gained confidence.

“I want to say a massive thank you to Georgie and Sarah for all their support and a huge well done for their amazing marathon times!  Also, to everyone who helped with my training including Owen Callaghan, K2 Crawley’s Fitness Manager, who took me out on runs around Tilgate Park. I couldn’t have done it without you, and all the staff at K2 have been so supportive and helpful. I must say a special thank you to everyone who donated. Between me, Sarah and Georgie we raised a whooping £1766.50 for the MS Society.”

Lauren managed to smash her target finishing the marathon in 5 hours 54 minutes! This was a huge achievement and something she should be super proud of.

K2 Crawley General Manager, Jon Hodgson said:

“We would like to all say a massive well done to Lauren, Georgie and Sarah for their fantastic achievement! It’s a great event to take part in, and they raised a lot of money for a great cause. All the staff at K2 Crawley are proud and have enjoyed taking part and helping them through their training throughout 2018 so far.”

To see how K2 Crawley, operated by freedom leisure on behalf of Crawley Borough Council, can help you on your own fitness journey, go straight to their website.

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Health & Wellbeing

FREE water refills now available at Three Bridges Station as retailers join campaign

33 retailers at Govia Thameslink Railway stations have committed to a campaign to reduce single-use plastic bottle by offering free tap water refills for passengers.

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It’s National Refill Day today (Wednesday 19 June) which is a public awareness day to mark the campaign, designed to reduce single-use plastic bottles by encouraging people to carry a reusable water bottle and refill on the go.

Part of the campaign is highlighting where members of the public can find free drinking water through the Refill app, with GTR’s Environment team signing up 33 retailers across the rail operator’s stations to support the project.

GTR’s Environment team has been working with staff members that serve as Area Champions for the Environment (ACEs) to encourage tenants at stations to join the campaign.

On the Southern network, Runaway Café in Lewes and the N+1 Bike Centre and Café at Brighton have signed up to the scheme.

On the Thameslink route, AMT Coffee at St Albans has joined; Caffe Kimbo and La Baguette Parisienne, both at Luton station, have also signed up.

Samantha Lear, Environment Manager for Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

“GTR is supporting Refill to help reduce plastic waste, an important issue which needs action on a personal as well as national level. We are so pleased to see so many of our retailers sign up as refill points with our teams of ACEs and hope that many more will follow soon.”

With the campaign research showing that 71% of people feel uncomfortable asking for free tap water when not making a purchase, Refill log all participating retailers on their app so that consumers can find the closest shop, cafe or restaurant taking part in the scheme.

According to Refill, if 1 in 10 people in Britain refilled a bottle rather than buying a single use plastic bottle just once a week, around 340 million plastic bottles would be saved each year.

Natalie Fee, Founder at City to Sea, said:

“We’re really pleased that GTR are part of the Refill Revolution this National Refill Day! Their support makes it even easier for everyone to find free drinking water when travelling – meaning we can all save money and save the planet from plastic pollution in one go! People from all walks of life are carrying a reusable bottle now and with GTR making it easier for people to Refill, we’re rapidly doing away with the need to buy planet-polluting plastic bottled water!”

The campaign is a partnership between Refill and Water UK run by City to Sea with additional support from the English water companies, Chilly’s Bottles, Robeco and the Mayor of London.

Refill estimates that the project will save more than 100 million single-use bottles from entering the waste stream by the end of 2019.

Retailers at the following Govia Thameslink Railway stations have signed up to the scheme:

Epsom

Luton

Luton Airport Parkway

Bedford

St Albans

Brighton

Lewes

Blackfriars

Three Bridges

East Croydon

Letchworth Garden City

Seaford

Berwick

Peterborough

St Neots

Littlehampton

West Hampstead Thameslink

Elephant & Castle

City Thameslink

New Cross Gate

Flitwick

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

www.southernrailway.com, www.thameslinkrailway.com, www.gatwickexpress.com, www.greatnorthernrail.com

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