Wateraid featured runner

The lovely team at my charity Wateraid asked me a few questions about my marathon training and fundraising attempts the other day. You can read the interview here

Featured runner - Elle Hankinson

Elle Hankinson
Elle Hankinson.
Credit: Elle Hankinson

Run like Elle!

Why did you decide to run the London Marathon for WaterAid?
I wanted to contribute to something humanitarian based - a career in fashion definitely doesn't count! And had been tentatively considering running the London Marathon, but it was at Glastonbury Festival where I noticed WaterAid's strong presence.
I was really struck by its democratic goals providing a key element to life, prosperity and change, to wherever and whoever needs it most in the world. This was a really important factor for me.
Why are you keen to take on the challenge?
I'm not sure if I am keen to take on the challenge! I'm permanently petrified and excited!
What is it like running and training in your neighborhood?
Like many others, I work long hours and travel a lot, so incorporating daily runs into my somewhat hectic schedule has been a challenge in itself. I'm terrible in the mornings, so mostly run at night. If you live in North London you may have seen me darting through the shadows!
How is your training going and what training schedule are you following?
My training is not exactly going according to plan. As I write I'm nursing a damaged Achilles heel: as a novice athlete it's difficult to know when an injury is a niggle and when it's the real deal - I'm hoping this is the former.
Perhaps controversially, I've just changed training plans and am now following a plan which incorporates interval training, cross training, tempo and long runs.
What is your favorite training session?
So far I've quite enjoyed the long runs. It's a chance to explore the City (I live in London) and lose yourself in idle thought!
Which of your sporting performances are you most proud of?
I don't have any...yet!
What support are you getting from your friends and family and how do you motivate yourself to go running when you don’t feel like it?
Initially my friends and family were beside themselves with laughter when they found out what I was undertaking; hopefully they're feeling proud of me now.
Without wanting to sound crass, my motivation has been thinking about where my money is going. Thousands of people suffer injustices globally, and if I can contribute to improve even just one person's situation, then surely that's motivation enough? That, and listening to Drum and Bass music very loudly whilst I run!
How do you treat yourself after very hard sessions?
I've found it very easy to justify treats of any kind! Anything sugar-based is a clear winner.
Which sports person do you most admire?
Ummm...I've never really been a sports fan so I couldn't name an individual. However I do admire the sheer determination that drives sports people to push themselves that bit further or faster. That's something I wish I had!
Have you started your fundraising and if so, how are you raising funds?
I am writing a blog about my marathon experience, in the hope of raising both awareness and money for WaterAid. The blog is a diary of my progress and incorporates my own interests (arts, music, fashion), too.
I am also hosting a fundraising event (everyone loves a party!), and there are a few other surprises in the pipeline too.
Follow me on www.runlikeelle.blogspot.com and Twitter too @runlikeelle to find out more...
Do you have any useful fundraising tips for the team?
Be creative. I've called in favours and am trying to offer something in return for sponsorship - be it a music mix or a home baked cake.
Convey the cause. I know how much effort it is to train for the marathon, but sponsors need something more. You have to try and make them feel what they're donating too.
Make it fun. Standing with a sponsor form is fine, but tap dancing in a tutu with a sponsor form is better!
Ultimately, pester everyone you know -the power of persuasion is a strong one!