For team Jesuit Missions preparing for the 2018 London Marathon, Easter Sunday was the day the training manuals advise should be your longest run, three weeks before marathon day itself (22nd April). After that you are advised to “power-down”, conserve energy and build up nutrition reserves to get you through the big day.
Jane Hellings, the Director of Development & Communications at Jesuits in Britain, is running this year and has recruited her son Rupert Holloway onto the team too. They were away together at Easter in Pembrokeshire, West Wales, and so for the first time did a training run together after Easter Sunday Mass.
“For me this Lent has been a period of pretty grueling exertion, both mental and physical, pushing myself to extremes I never thought I could reach in some really horrible weather, so there was something glorious about emerging from Lent to achieve the goal of the longest training run on Easter Sunday.”
“All my previous long runs have been on fairly flat terrain – mainly along the Thames path, as I really don’t like hills! But it was impossible to identify a long flat run in Pembrokeshire. In the end we opted to run about 20 miles along the coast path from the pretty harbour at Dale to where we were staying in Little Haven.”
“It’s a route we have both walked many times, and mentally there is something very satisfying about running home. It is a bit up and down but there are some good flat stretches as well. One thing we hadn’t thought about was the number of gates to negotiate along the way. I suggested Mum set the pace and she started off holding the gates for me, but she soon got tired of that and was way ahead. Used to London pavements, I struggled with the uneven terrain and was glad to return to a hot bath and a slice of Simnel cake!”
So is it going to be a race between mother and son?
“We have joked about that in the family,” says Rupert, “and to be honest I thought I would be finishing way ahead. But after Easter Sunday I’m not so sure.”
Also doing a long run on Easter Sunday was Richard Greenwood, Outreach and Communications Manager at Jesuit Missions, who achieved 19 miles around Woking Park.
“I found it tough, but I did think about all the people who have sponsored me so far, you do start to feel a bit more responsible when people have actually parted with their cash to support you! I’m looking forward to it now, I’ve actually got to the stage where I miss running if I haven’t been out for a few days – I never thought that would happen. My plan for marathon day is to start slow and then get slower and slower, and when I need some inspiration I’ll think of the people we are raising money for, and those who have generously sponsored already.”
Money raised by this year’s Jesuit Missions marathon runners will support a women’s empowerment project in India and an education programme with South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
Posted on 16th April 2018