To most people running seems to be quite boring. There is no ball you can play with or a competitor you can play against. It’s just putting one foot in front of the other. For me though, running is not just a sport; it’s time for myself. It’s time to think about a lot of things that worry me and to let them go by – metaphorically running over them and just to turn off my head. I even think that running teaches you things you need in your life like resilience and perseverance. So, to me it’s not just putting one foot in front of the other. It’s so much more. I’d always wanted to run a half or even a full marathon and the London Landmarks Half Marathon is one of the best races in town. What could be better than taking part and supporting a fantastic organisation like PiP where I was volunteering as a Support Worker for young adults with learning disabilities. You could say that something like a dream came true! 

From the moment I had my place confirmed, I started to practise. Because I am quite ambitious, I set myself a target time: 21 kilometres in just two hours! I was not too far away from that and in training in January and February I managed to run 18 kilometres in two hours. I received a lot of support from PiP for which I’m very grateful. Everything seemed to be going perfectly… 

It was going perfectly until the Coronavirus stopped me in my tracks.  It forced me to stop my volunteering service with PiP and head back home to Germany in March. The London Landmarks Half Marathon was then postponed! My dream was over before it really started.  

A few days after I returned home, I received an email which raised my hopes again: the LOCAL Landmarks Challenge. I can run the half marathon at home and send them the results! Perfect. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Due to the government’s advice, I had to stay at home for the first two weeks after my entry to Germany. How can I train now? I simply had to wait. 

As soon as my two weeks indoors isolating were up, I started running again but haven’t quite got back to the same level as three weeks ago in London. Yet. Since then, I’ve been running regularly and improving my endurance. I want to finish what I started.  Not just for myself, but also for PiP. I’m not going to allow this virus to take away my chance of running a half marathon and fundraising for the young adults I loved working with. I’m very thankful to PiP that made this chance possible. Thank you! 

Thank you Jan! Follow Jan’s fundraising journey and here – https://justgiving.com/fundraising/jan-k-mmel

See Jan in training with his PiP trainers here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3BnWFyprpo

If you want to get involved with supporting PiP like Jan and set your own Local Landmarks Challengeget in touch with Claire, our Community Fundraiser, on claireg@piponline.org.uk