Blog / August 22nd, 2022
Running a Marathon for Girlguiding – Kate, a Guide Leader from Essex South East
Hello! I’m Kate, a Guide Leader from Essex South East. I’m also a Peer Education Coordinator, an Inspire Champion… and I’m running the Marathon for Girlguiding.
I applied to run the marathon for Girlguiding because I had such incredible experiences as a young member (from volunteering abroad to being part of the British Youth Council). I would love those opportunities to be available to even more girls and young women. As a volunteer, I also enjoy seeing girls grow in confidence, develop skills and try new things.
I’d known that places in the London Marathon are hotly contested, so I didn’t expect to get a spot. When I got the call to say I’d been selected, I was excited about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After almost two years of lockdowns, I was ready for 2022 to be a year of new adventures! Although I was nervous about the prospect of raising £2,000 and running 26.2 miles, like many of us in Girlguiding, I’m not afraid of a challenge. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can apply for the 2023 London Marathon now.
This will be my first marathon, so after accepting my place, I found a training plan on the London Marathon website, designed for beginners. It turns out, training is no walk in the park (even if sometimes it involves a run in the park!). Just a couple of weeks in, I started having pains in my knee that I’d never felt before. There were days when I wondered how I would ever run 26 miles, when it hurt to run just one. Fortunately, by incorporating different exercises into my routine, I’ve strengthened my legs and it’s now less painful. I learnt the hard way that when training for a marathon, it’s not only about running. Varied exercise, hydration, sleep and diet are all crucial.
The great thing about running the London Marathon for Girlguiding is that you get to join a team. Runners for Girlguiding are added to a WhatsApp group, and it’s been lovely to celebrate each other’s achievements along the way. On difficult days, it’s also reassuring to know that I’m not alone in my aches and pains.
To add to this, we have a sponsor – the awesome Anna McNuff. If you haven’t heard, she ran 100 marathons barefoot in aid of Girlguiding! We were lucky to get a video from Anna early on, with practical tips, which really motivated me to train. We also had a Zoom call, where Anna gave us more advice, and her enthusiasm reminded me why I’m doing this – to support the amazing work of Girlguiding.
I have a fundraising target of £2,000, and at the time of writing, I’m just over halfway there. My most successful event was a scavenger hunt in London that I organised for Guides in my division. I was really fortunate to have supportive Leaders around, who were willing to give up their Saturday to make the day possible. I would like to take this opportunity to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported my fundraising so far!
I designed a badge for the scavenger hunt too, and I have several left – if you would like to buy any for your unit, please email me. I can also share the pack of instructions that I created, so you can follow along for a pre-planned day out exploring London.
How you can help (for FREE)
I would be hugely grateful for any contributions via my JustGiving page, to support Girlguiding UK, the charity we all know and love. However, if you are not able to donate, you can help for free, by sharing my JustGiving link. You could also sign up to easyfundraising, and when you do online shopping, I can get a donation, with absolutely no added cost to you.
Thank you for your support!