By Stephanie Phillips, Lawyer, Clifford Chance
Sunday 10th July was a big day in the sporting world. Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the second time… and the very same day, Apples & Pears had 12 sponsored runners competing in its first charity race.
I was lucky enough to be one of them and took up the challenge of completing the The Vitality British 10k London Run.
I’ve known about Apples & Pears since it was founded as it’s a pro bono client of my company Clifford Chance. The work of the charity is important to me because of its integrity and clear purpose. Earlier this year, I decided that I could be doing more to raise money and decided that signing up to a run would be a challenging and fun way to do this.
It was a big decision as I’ve never entered a race before and would describe myself as more of a “casual jogger” than a “competitive runner”. I diligently started training and felt I was warming up nicely. But then two weeks before the race, work commitments unfortunately meant that my training came to an abrupt end.
Suddenly it was the morning of the race and I was nervous that I hadn’t run a full 10k before. But as I took my place at the starting line, proudly wearing my Apples & Pears t-shirt, I felt reassured by the positive atmosphere and was lifted by the support of the spectators. In a sea of brightly coloured t-shirts, I was part of a movement and was excited to be representing the charity alongside fellow runners fundraising for other causes.
The spectacular route took us past iconic London landmarks like the Houses of Parliament and St James’ Palace, and reminded me that I was running to give London’s children the chance to experience the inspiring culture in our city. This kept me going through the tough moments and as I approached the finish line I found a last burst of energy and speeded into a sprint finish – producing a personal best.
While my achievement may not have matched Andy Murray’s tennis triumph, I’m really proud to have helped Apples & Pears raise £2,500 which will fund trips for new schools, offering inspiring activities to children who would miss out otherwise. A big thanks to Clifford Chance who matched the donations I received.
I’d encourage anyone with the opportunity to take part in sponsored activity to say yes. You’ll find a fantastic sense of fulfilment in giving it your all and making an impact on the lives of others in the process.
Apples & Pears are always on the lookout for fundraising opportunities and ideas for sporting challenges, so get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to be involved!