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Our Charity Runs for the RSPCA

By Laura Ludmany, Knowledgebase Engineer

As per our company tradition, Creative Virtual this year again is fundraising for the RSPCA – but this time with a twist. Previous years we selected a 10k in London and put together a team of runners to take part as a group. This year, people who were willing to be a part of our ‘Team Animal’ and participate in a race could join a local one instead of having to travel to London.

I really liked this idea and it made the whole effort more global – like the Creative Virtual team. We had runners in three different countries take part in races in Hamburg, London, Ipswich and Dublin so far. There’s still the opportunity for others to sign up for more races and contribute to our fundraising efforts.

Challenging yourself, setting goals to work towards and making a commitment is a great mental exercise. And, of course, training for your upcoming race keeps you fit as well! Perhaps even more importantly, it’s heartwarming to support a good cause and do something for a charity. Even if you feel like your contribution is small, it can really make a difference.

RSPCA fundraisingThe RSPCA is largest and most well-known animal welfare charity in the UK, founded in 1824, and covers all areas of animal protection and help. Everyone loves animals – who wouldn’t like to help our fluffy friends and make their lives better?

I was eager to sign up for a race close to me and started to train and go to gym classes to increase my level of fitness. My enthusiasm even got my friend to sign up for the same race, so we kept motivating each other to prepare for our big day! She has a pug, who we took for our running sessions occasionally so we could really feel the spirit of Team Animal. 🐕

I know my fellow Creative Virtual runners are very experienced runners (Well done to all!!!), but for me it was a great achievement to complete my run that Sunday. It was a lovely day, with some breeze and the course was in a castle park with forest all around. I did 5km in a respectable 30 minutes (there is room for improvement!). I didn’t think it would have gone so smooth, so I’m happy I challenged myself and accomplished this goal. It was a fantastic experience and I will definitely do it again! In fact, I have already checked into upcoming races to feel the rush again.

As I’m writing, we have raised 95% of our fundraising goal for the RSPCA. Thank you to everyone who has already sponsored our team of runners! You can donate towards this very worth cause through our JustGiving page.

Go Team Animal!

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!