Our Events Fundraising Manager, Esther, is leaving the team this November. After five years with us Esther has made an incredible impact - most notably for her hard work as the head of #TeamMRF, inspiring runners of every ability to join us in the fight against meningitis. Before she leaves for her next adventure, we asked her to tell us the five things all runners should know before joining #TeamMRF...
1. If you run, then you are a runner!
What if you’re slow? What if you get a stitch? What if you cut your training run short because you actually want to put your feet up with a cup of tea? Well, there’s a chance you’re not going to be next Usain Bolt or Paula Radcliffe, but as long as you’re running you are a runner!
2. Everyone gets the same medal – and that’s not the most rewarding bit
It doesn’t matter how long it takes you from crossing the start line to picking up your medal, they are all the same! The experiences you have along the route will mean more to you than your finishing time. What you’ll really remember the most though is that you pushed yourself and achieved something in order to help defeat meningitis and septicaemia. No medal can compare to that.
Esther with #TeamMRF members at one of our first Virgin London Marathon training days.
3. Good shoes change everything and putting them on is the most difficult part
Getting properly fitted shoes that are right for you transforms your experience of running, and they don’t have to be expensive to fit properly. On those days when you feel like running is the last thing in the world you want to do, the trick is to tell yourself you’re just going to put your shoes on. You’ll find that once that bit’s done getting out the door is easy.
4. TeamMRF plays a vital role in the charity’s vision
Defeating meningitis and septicaemia by 2030 won't happen for free. The funds you raise as part of TeamMRF will help us to create real change, and rid the world of meningitis for good. It's not just about the fundraising, though - by wearing our vest and telling your friends and family about MRF you help to raise awareness, which is crucial in making sure that the disease gets spotted quickly when it appears. Meningitis is hard to detect and can kill in hours, so awareness is really important.
5. You will surprise yourself
You will run around the block two more times because you want to finish your training run on an even number. You will go out even when it’s raining. You will look forward to an early morning run. You will say ‘never again’, and then sign up again shortly after. It seems hard to believe now, but you really will!
We'll miss you so much, Esther!