This weekend I (Helen) had the privilege of leading a TRIBE Freedom Run in my local park, Hornchurch Country Park.
It was quite a surreal experience, in October TRIBE sent out emails and social media campaigns asking for people to get involved, become a Freedom Run Ambassador and lead these runs.
I saw the email and thought I would apply to be a running ambassador… Quick application and then I didn’t think too much more about it… But a few days later I got an email saying I had been selected, I needed to confirm my interest, map out a suitable route on Strava and recruit a team of runners to join me.
I created a justgiving page and set about persuading people that they would definitely love to give up a Saturday afternoon in December, put the Christmas preparations on hold and join me for a 10km run in the park…
As I write this we have raised £176.66, and it’s not too late to sponsor us! Just use this link. We are fundraising for Unseen, they work to prevent trafficking in the UK and to support victims of trafficking, their vision is a world without slavery! A fantastic cause!
TRIBE sent some snacks and t-shirts to be used for the event, these arrived a few days before.
So preparation done, then on Saturday it was time to head out to the park and hope that at least someone would turn up to run with me (else I would have had to wear a lot of t-shirts and eat a lot of snacks all by myself!)
My boyfriend Adam came along with me, and we took the dog (Kai) so at least there would be 3 of us (yep, kai counts as a person, but I made his donation for him).
Anyway, turns out I needn’t have worried, as slowly but surely from about 1.30pm onwards quite a gathering started in the car park that we had agreed as a meeting place… To my amazement lots of people gave up their Saturday afternoon to join in and run for this fantastic cause, many were friends or people I knew by association but some people had just seen the social media promotion and decided to come along!
By the start time of 2pm we had 16 runners, the dog, a child (James) on a mountain bike (his mum allowed him to come along for marshalling and encouragement – much needed and he was fab) and my friend Lisa’s husband Brett also came along on his mountain bike and was a great help by leading the way for the front group of runners! Here is our amazing group of runners at the start ready to go.
I am incredibly grateful to everyone who gave up their time and donated to the charity to join this run. We had a great time on the run which was mostly a trail run and took us through some beautiful areas of the park. Despite the weather being a bit dreary everyone seemed to be having a good time, here is a pic of 3 of the lovely ladies who joined me still smiling despite running up a hill.
Don’t worry, we didn’t loose anyone along the way, some people had to rush off before I managed to get a finishers photo, and the dog had laid down in a heap somewhere behind the camera (he is ok, but let’s just say he has done a lot of sleeping since).
All in all I had a great time being a TRIBE ambassador and am proud to have been fundraising for such a great cause. I would definitely get involved with any similar opportunities in the future.