Lee Sidney will be taking on the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October. We asked him a few questions about how he is preparing for his challenge.
Why are you running for Shaare Zedek UK?
I’m running for Shaare Zedek UK because the hospital in Jerusalem does so much wonderful work in Israel and abroad. Its multi-ethnic staff provide such wonderful care for everyone they treat, whatever their background and without discrimination – not just a hugely important thing for patients and their families, but also a wonderful message to the world about coexistence in Israel. Plus my sister worked at Shaare Zedek UK in the early 2000s, so there’s a family connection!
Have you ever run a half marathon before?
Yes – I’ve run the distance a few times, although I’ve only run one organised half marathon before. That was in Watford over 4 years ago, so I’m looking forward to doing another ‘proper’ one. However many times you run 13.1 miles though, it’s always a challenge.
How is training going?
It’s going well. I know I can run the distance, so I’m working on my pace in the hope I can get a personal best – although I’m told it gets a bit crowded in certain spots, so I’ll need to be on my toes if I want to achieve my target time!
What are you most excited about / nervous about?
I’m looking forward to the hype and excitement of the Royal Parks Half Marathon – running in London is really special, I’ve been to watch this event in the past and I know it will be lots of fun!
Have you been given any advice or what are your top tips for pushing through the pain barrier?
A proper training plan helps you build up the strength and stamina to run longer distances without discomfort, and getting a gait analysis followed by a good pair of running shoes should help you to avoid any pain in the first place! I think the best tip has always been to run your own race, particularly if you’re hoping to achieve a certain finish time – obviously try not to be slowed down by the people around you, but definitely don’t let the occasion get the better of you and run off too quick at the start as that can mean hitting the wall part-way through your race.
What is on your running playlist?
I don’t listen to music when I’m running – I prefer to feel as light and unencumbered by technology as possible, so the only thing I have on me is a smart watch to track my performance. It also means I’ll be able soak up the atmosphere on the day.
Trusty trainers or new shoes for the occasion?
I’m not sure yet, although my latest shoes are approaching their mileage limit – and there’s nothing like the springiness of an expensive, brand new pair to give you an extra boost!
What will be on the menu for your marathon breakfast or are you more looking forward to the celebratory meal afterwards?
Breakfast will be either porridge with agave nectar or my usual three Weetabix, plus a banana – but I might treat myself to a shawarma afterwards!We wish Lee all the very best with his training and the big day which is less than a month away. Please support his efforts by sponsoring him today.