पोस्ट

Mad Dogs and English People Go Out in the Noonday Sun… (and then some!)

By Rachel Freeman, Operations Director

Even 3 full days after London’s “hottest” marathon on record all of our legs still ache a tad. We’re part of those 40,000+ special (stupid?) runners who braved the heat and intense sunshine to conquer 26.2 miles.

Myself, Chris Ezekiel and Maria Ward were at the start line in Greenwich on April 22nd with varying expectations and high hopes for raising money for our selected charities. Whilst our virtual agents speak on behalf of their “owners”, I will not speak for my colleagues apart from that they ran superb runs in adverse conditions and raised money for Jewish Care and Marie Curie Hospice respectively. They both achieved personal bests at 3.43 and 4.04 and deserve a lot of kudos.

I am made of lesser athletic stuff and whilst I intended to simply “sub-5” and raise money for the RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People), the heat got the better of me and my keen sense of self-preservation kicked-in advising myself to walk/run after mile 13 as I felt as if I would faint soon after Tower Bridge. I “achieved” a PW (personal worst) at 5.30 but was delighted to have finished with a smile on my face and feeling fine – bar one blood blister and a bit of chafing on the arms due to the charity vest.

RNIB London MarathonThe atmosphere was wonderful – people lined most of the streets screaming our names as seen ironed on our vests. It was a perfect day to be a spectator – but not as optimal for the runners. Water stations were often jammed and I took full advantage of every shower and hose pointing our way. I’ve never had as much to drink at any race!

The route took us right through Canary Wharf and familiar territory for Creative Virtual marathoners due to various regular routes we took on post-work runs. I wasn’t exactly tempted to take a detour and visit the office, but I did give the office a thought as I ran down Cabot Square. We each had our own sights of crazy costumes but the ones notable to me were a suit of armour, several rhinos, a woman on stilts and a man dressed in full Victorian garb.

We all did it! The times varied widely but we all shared a commitment to finish and raise funds which was well accomplished. Yet… there is no rest for the wicked and trainer lacing starts again soon:

On July 15th, Chris, Maria and myself will join 7 more Creative Virtual team members (Andre, Dinah, David, Chloe, Tracey, Emma and Steve) to run the Virgin Sport British 10K through the centre of London in support of the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) – one of our favourite charities.

10K QuarkWe aim to raise £1,000 and hit the London streets that are so much a part of the soul of Creative Virtual HQ. This will be the fourth time a team of runners from Creative Virtual will take part in a 10k to raise money for the RSPCA.

Stay tuned for training and fundraising updates. You can sponsor us through our team JustGiving page or, if you’re in the UK, text CVUK55 and an amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Congratulations again to Maria and Chris on their impressive marathon runs and a big thank you to everyone who sponsored and supported me. I’m excited to turn my attention to the 10k in July. Go Team Animal!

Running Towards My Virtual Viewpoint

By Chris Ezekiel, Founder & CEO

At the end of last year I started writing a regular column for The Wharf News, a weekly newspaper distributed in the Canary Wharf area of London. Aptly titled ‘Virtual Viewpoint’, the column gives me the opportunity to share my thoughts on technology and science. I’m really enjoying writing these columns and looking at the impact technology and science have on our lives and businesses.

I often use my running time to think about my column and how technology is impacting the world – and I’ve had a lot of time to think lately since I’ve been training for the London Marathon! Sometimes I find myself reminiscing and taking a walk down memory lane; sometimes I find myself contemplating our digital future; sometimes I find myself analysing technology’s impact on businesses. At the end of my runs, I often find that I’ve thought about things in a different way and come up with ideas I know I wouldn’t have otherwise.

I enjoy seeing my column in print every month, but I also wanted a way to share them digitally and have started publishing them on LinkedIn as well. Check out the links below to catch up on the ones already published:

  • Virtual Viewpoint :: 30 November 2017 – I take a look at the current technological revolution and the impact artificial intelligence will have on jobs and quality of life.
  • Virtual Viewpoint :: 4 January 2018 – I contemplate whether we are reaching a point of having too many gadgets and the issues of privacy and data protection that come with using them.
  • Virtual Viewpoint :: 1 February 2018 – I think back to a time before instantaneous global communication and reflect on why we all need to find a way to escape the digital world.
  • Virtual Viewpoint :: 8 March 2018 – I share my annoyance with people failing to communicate properly and how dumping ‘old’ methods of communication diminishes our lives along with companies’ profits.
  • Virtual Viewpoint :: 5 April 2018 – I know my pro-Brexit view isn’t popular within the business community, but I believe this is a historic opportunity to build a global economy for UK businesses to thrive within.

For those of you who are local, don’t forget to pick up a free copy of The Wharf every Thursday. I’ll also continue to add my new ‘Virtual Viewpoint’ columns on LinkedIn, so be sure to connect with me there. I’m sure I’ll be finishing the marathon on Sunday exhausted but with lots of fresh inspiration for my upcoming columns.

On a personal note, I want to thank everyone who has supported my London Marathon fundraising efforts for Jewish Care. You can still sponsor me here. Good luck to my fellow Creative Virtual marathon runners – Rachel Freeman who is running for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (sponsor Rachel) and Maria Ward who is running for the Ipswich Hospital Charity (sponsor Maria)! See you at the finish line!