RUNNING THE LONDON MARATHON TO HELP TRANSFORM LIVES
by Michelle Carnegie
13 March 2019
A South African couple living and working in London will be running the Virgin Money London Marathon next month, aiming to raise close to R80 000 in aid of a charity close to their heart.
With a little over six weeks to the big day Kerryn Trim and husband Michael Koshiaris, both born in Johannesburg but currently living in Chelmsford, have already managed to raise more than 50% of their target. All the money they raise will go to the National Autistic Society. “Our nephew is autistic so it means a lot that there is a charity promoting awareness about autism to make sure that autistic people can fully participate in society. We are aiming to raise £3,800 by race day. Family, friends and colleagues have been incredibly generous and we’re 50%. We still have some work to do though to reach our target so appreciate any donations.”
Training for the big day
Kerryn, a management consultant with EY in London, and Michael, a technology consultant with Accenture in London, both battled with a few niggles which have set them back a few weeks, but they are confident that they will cross the finish line come 28 April.
“Because we weren’t running much last year, we have had to increase distance pretty quickly since we got the charity entries in December and broke a few cardinal rules of running. New shoes and increasing distance too quickly left us both with ankle injuries just as we were starting to clock the miles on the training plan. Fortunately, nothing too major, but it has set us back a few weeks. We have an indoor bike to maintain the general fitness levels, so all is not lost…yet. We have entered the Brentwood 21.1km race as a tester before the marathon,” says Kerryn
The couple are no newbies to sport. Michael, who started running 5 years ago, has since completed a handful of Warrior races, 10km races and half marathons as well as the Cape Town Marathon. On top of that he has taken on some long-distance cycling races and some Half Ironman distance triathlons.
Michael admits his wife played a big role in him tackling more serious running races and triathlons. “When Kerryn and I started dating I knew she was a serious runner/ triathlete (with about 1 000 medals) to her name. So it was a great way to spend time together and start my own medal collection, I was jealous after all. I still call her coach because she is exactly that to me, as well as my personal physio. Not too much she doesn’t know about the body. We have struggled to find that strict triathlon training routine while being in the UK given the weather and the use of trains to commute to and from work (humanity’s true test of character is the British Rail Network, not endurance sports),” says Michael.
Kerryn started running about 10 years ago and has done more running and cycling races than she can count. “I have a box of medals somewhere but my favorite running races include Knysna Half Marathon, Two Oceans Half Marathon, Wally Hayward and the Cape Town Marathon.”
She has also completed a number of shorter triathlons as well as two Half Ironman races in East London and a full Ironman in PE in 2014.
South Africa vs London
For two born and bred South Africans training in the UK must be a challenge compared to training in mostly sunny SA? Not really, says Kerryn. “It’s not any harder than training in SA during the winter. London winters are milder than what people think, so it’s no different to running on a freezing Joburg morning (but a little darker). It’s all about preparing mentally and just getting out there and enjoying what you are doing and pushing yourself. You just need a couple more layers. We quite enjoy a snowy run. What does make training more challenging is the time we spend commuting into London daily – it eats into your training time.”
Apart from still adapting to some aspects of UK life, they are pretty happy in Chelmsford, says the couple. They have family in Chelmsford and decided to move there after a visit in 2015. “We really liked Chelmsford, so decided to take the plunge and move over. Both of us also agreed that it would provide great work opportunities as well as allow us to travel and see more of the world, which we both thoroughly enjoy. Michael is an EU citizen so he can live and work in the UK.”
The running scene in South Africa and London seem pretty similar. “There are a lot of running and cycling events in London. We live outside London where there aren’t as many events, but they have organized training runs and park runs every week. The biggest difference for me is the race entries. Because of the volume of runners or cyclists in London, a lot of the races have gone the charity route which makes it more difficult to get entries, whereas in SA you could quite easily do all of the major events every year if you could afford the entry fees.”
“As one of the biggest and best organized marathons in the world, it has always been something we wanted to do. After running the Cape Town Marathon together, we wanted to do another one of the big global races. The atmosphere at big sporting events is great and makes the race that much easier. In 2018 we got sucked in by the hype around the London Marathon, so decided to try and get a place for 2019,” says Kerryn.
The couple didn’t get ballot entries and heard nothing from the charities they had applied to, so they didn’t think they would get in. “We weren’t doing any training when we got a call from the National Autistic Society in December.”
The London Marathon will be their first marathon outside of South Africa. They are looking forward to the crowd, the atmosphere and seeing London from a different perspective. They will most definitely be running together and just plan to finish it and enjoy the experience.
A visit to the local pub close to the finish line is on the cards for after the race. “Hopefully we will still have a little energy left to enjoy the atmosphere at the finish before heading off.”
Training for the London Marathon has given them a good platform to fully get back into the sporting scene in the UK, and perhaps participate in a few European Ironman courses.
The couple is still working hard on their fundraising efforts for the London Marathon and any donations are appreciated. Follow the link below to help them tranform lives.
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