This morning’s visit to meet Class 4 in Otterton was the best possible thing I could have done to kick off Day Zero of the Brathay 10-in-10.
It is a huge psychological boost to see how these young students are excited about supporting me, my fellow runners, and Brathay Trust.
We spoke for an hour and a half, and it was not long enough – I think they will agree that we could easily have continued all day!
We did a vote to select their Team 13 t-shirt design; they had me do a trial run around their playground perimeter to test my running style (!); we took pictures with a local journalist; I showed them Vibram FiveFinger shoes and running medals and a foam roller and refuelling products; they told me about all their ideas to raise funds for Brathay; and they asked me a lot of questions about running – really good questions that I often ask myself! What will give you the courage to finish the 10-in-10? How will you deal with failure? Who inspires you? Will you change the pace or style of your running for each marathon?
I’m not going to tell you how I answered these questions (and all the others!), because at some point I expect to host a guest blog from Class 4 where they will give their own account of our meeting.
But I will tell you that they presented me with the most extraordinary card, which has a drawing of all the 10-in-10 runners and a collection of running mantras that they have come up with. This card will go up in our team headquarters here at Brathay, for me and my fellow runners to take inspiration from every morning at breakfast.
To the boys and girls of Class 4, I would like to say a heartfelt “thank you” for inviting me to join you this morning. You are the best team of supporters I could ask for! Your enthusiasm and your support will be fresh in my mind as I get out on the road tomorrow.
To everyone reading this blog, you can play your part to support Brathay Trust by contributing to my fund-raising page, at www.justgiving.com/robruns10in10. Even if your donation is small, it will be valuable, and appreciated. And you can help too by spreading the word to your friends and acquaintances!