Meet Anna, Veronica and Jess, three members of the LDN Brunch Club. Veronica and Anna have completed several marathons, whereas this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon will be Jess’ first marathon run.
- Tell us a bit about yourself?
J: I’m Jess, a 23-year-old northerner living in London. I’m a food lover (cheese is my weakness), a runner and a general busybody! I currently work as a social talent manager looking after YouTube talent amongst other digital first talent and I love my job.
V: Hi! I’m Veronica – I work in asset management and I am also pursuing an MBA at Imperial College London. I moved to London from San Francisco two years ago for work and I love to travel in my spare time.
A: I’m Anna, one of the leaders of LDN Brunch Club. Very much the city girl, I’ve lived in London for the past five years and I’m still always out and about exploring.
- Why did you start running? What was your motivation for it?
J: I first started running in my second year of University. I began a 6-week internship at a fashion PR agency over the Easter break and knew nobody at all. I had my gym kit but had no idea where the nearest gym was, the weather was lovely and I remember downloading Runkeeper and setting off around Bethnal Green.
V: I started running in 2013 after signing up for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco, to keep fit during the year while working long hours.
A: I initially started running by taking part in a small race local to my family home in Buckinghamshire. Each year I’d try to run the ‘fun run’ with my dad, red faced, out of breath and wishing I could do better. So one year I decided to actually train for the race and not only completed the three mile run, but also entered the longer seven mile race.
- When did running become a passion?
A: In 2010 I took on my first half marathon. Inspired by my grandfather who suffered three strokes in his lifetime, I wanted to use running for a good cause and raise funds for The Stroke Association.
Completing the half turned my hobby into a passion. I was hooked. Therefore, it took very little encouragement from my godmother (a true run inspiration who has 25+ marathons under her belt!!!) to convince me to do my first ever FULL marathon.
- How would you describe LDN Brunch Club?
V: After training for the Athens and London Marathon on my own, I found running to be quite lonely in London and wanted to meet other runners. I had seen LDN Brunch Club at various races in London and followed the Instagram page. The friendships are one of the biggest things that keep me coming back week after week. Running with LDN Brunch Club has made me realize that I have the potential to run faster races and I should continue to challenge myself to chase after new PBs.
- What sets LDN Brunch Club apart from other clubs in London?
J: I feel like LDN Brunch Club is less of a club and more of a community. With other running clubs, there’s not always a chance to get to know the people you’re running with but because of the social aspect of the club I’ve had the chance to build friendships.
- What motivates you to run now? Has this changed since you first started?
J: When I first started running, I wanted to get fit. Running is such a huge part of my life, it gives me something to focus on, something to feel proud of. I don’t think twice now about getting up to go for a run, it clears my head and sets me up for the day or helps me unwind after a long day at work.
V: In November, I travelled to Istanbul with LDN Brunch Club to run the Ignite Istanbul 10K. This trip is one of my most memorable and happy life experiences. It was in that moment crossing the finish line, having shaved 5 minutes off my previous 10K PB, that I realized the impact consistently running with LDN Brunch Club had on greatly improving my fitness and running.
A: I find myself motivated to continue running because I feel I’ve found something that keeps me fit and healthy AND I genuinely enjoy doing it. I’m constantly inspired by the people I meet through running both here and when travelling, and that is a huge motivation to keep running.
- Why are you running this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon?
J: London Marathon 2018 will be my first marathon, although I’ve been keen to do one for a while now. I decided to apply for a charity place with Mind UK, I’m a passionate advocate for supporting and speaking out about mental health issues as it has affected the people closest to me over recent years.
V: I ran London Marathon last year for a charity, but failed to stick to a training plan and had a disappointing race on race day. I’m looking forward to sticking to a plan this time and really excited to have the amazing members of LDN Brunch Club to train with, especially for long runs, and to get that redemption race time on April 22nd!
A: Last year I ran Virgin Money London Marathon for the second time, I was injured and unfortunately very sick a couple of days before the race. The result was a terrible race where I was incredibly unwell and still ran on, against my better judgement. For that reason, I was nervous to run another marathon in 2018 but my reason for running London again is to learn from mistakes, come back from them stronger and most of all to enjoy the experience with LDN Brunch Club friends!