Arriving at Hyde Park Underground Station on Sunday 13th October, I can hardly say that anyone was looking particularly thrilled about running through the pouring rain. Those of us who had arrived first, discussed the possibility of no-shows, what super foods we had attempted to cram into our pre-run breakfasts and what was on our ‘Resolution Run Playlist’. Thankfully the whole squad turned up! We put on our Westbury caps (for extra protection) and headed out into the park. Spirits were definitely lifted when we saw the crowds of people in purple t-shirts gathering and queuing under trees and tents. We didn’t get the chance to take part in the group warm-up, but it looked lively from where we were standing!
Excitement began to kick in as we awaited the ‘go’ signal. When it did, it was more a shuffle onto the track as there were so many of us. As it was my first charity run, I have to admit that by this point I was feeling nervous. I realised that if I flopped this, I really would never live it down. Once the pack had dispersed a little I was able to gain some sort of momentum. I ran next to my colleague Sonal Thakkar for the majority of the run. Although we were focused on the task ahead, having a friendly face beside me definitely raised my confidence level.. By this point I was actually quite enjoying the run. We saw hardened joggers Ella Aldworth and Nicki Pearson (who were doing 15k) speed past us at one point, which made us pick up our feet a little.
However, with about a quarter of our time left I got a stitch which meant I fell behind Sonal. I soon discovered that the only way to get rid of the pain was in fact, to run it off. I’m also pretty certain that I looked even less-pro like sporting a half-limp-half-jog run. However, by this point I was so close to the finish that all I cared about was getting there! Although, there were not many cheering spectators the few that had stuck it out were greatly appreciated. They certainly gave me that final boost over the line! And then…thank god…I had made it out alive.
A number of our team had already completed the run and ushered me over to collect my medal and a much needed bottle of water. We waited around for a bit and cheered on the Westbury members that were still going past. Whilst running round the park, the rain was easy to ignore and when I did notice it I found it somewhat refreshing. This was not the case as we stood shivering at the side lines. We decided to take a couple of victorious group pictures and depart. Nicky Padden and her husband Damien (who had got roped into signing up for the run on the day!) were extremely supportive and even hung around for those who did the 10k/15k and got photos with them too.
On Monday morning the team exchanged their run experiences and by lunchtime we could check our exact times online. I made it in 33.09. For a first time run – I was pretty pleased. Everyone did brilliantly, beating personal bests and setting new targets for runs that they plan to do in the near future.
The most rewarding news of all came on Tuesday though, when we smashed our five grand target! Donations are still rolling in and aiding such a worthwhile cause. Thank you to all our supporters and to everyone at the firm who got involved.
Rehana Khan – Head of Social Committee
Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors is an accountancy practice based in London. Westbury have been providing Accounting and Tax solutions to small and medium sized businesses since 1936.Talk to the team at Westbury on 0207 253 7272 or visit http://www.westbury.co.uk.