Team IDL raise £10,000 for charity and inspires others to compete in 2009. Rodney Jack spoke to two of the runners.
Six employees from Ironmongery Direct exceeded all expectations by completing the London Marathon, and raising £10,000 for H.E.A.R.T UK.
Team IDL – comprising Chris Bass, Glen Cattermole, Paul White, Chris Clayton, Marc Steel, and Alex Smith – said they were delighted with their individual performances, and particularly the response they received after the 28th annual race on April 13.
Unfortunately, a seventh team member, Ben Green, could not take part due to a chest infection although he has vowed to return in 2009.
Running in the red-coloured singlet of H.E.A.R.T UK, the sextuplet achieved personal bests.
Chris Clayton finished in 4 hours 15 minutes and helped inspire his team mates to finish in equally respectable times: Paul White and Alex Smith in 4 hours 52 minutes; Marc Steel in 5 hours 19 minutes; Glen Cattermole in 5 hours 43 minutes; and Chris Bass in 5 hours 51 minutes.
Paul White, project director at Ironmongery Direct told diyweek.net that although he battled low energy reserves, cramp, and pouring rain over the gruelling 26.2 mile course, he considers it one of his greatest achievements.
Chris Bass executive chairman also said he found it a triumph of mind over matter – and also food.
He said: "I broke it down into three 10Ks to get round it mentally, but it hit me when we got into Docklands and I could smell the food from the barbecues and the smell of beer from the pubs (there are 75 which line the marathon route)."
Thoughts and thank-you's
However, for all the mental anguish and the physical distress, both were unanimous in their praise for the thousands - including ten from the Ironmongery Direct office among them – who lined the course route to cheer on the competitors.
Chris Bass said: "The whole day was fantastic and better than I had expected, but it was better in so many ways that I find it hard to describe."
He continued: "The whole atmosphere was almost like a Rio de Janeiro carnival, and I feel very special that I was part of it. I was overwhelmed in places particularly where spectators are shouting out your name and cheering you on - it's absolutely amazing; unless you do it you can't really appreciate it.
"If I don't do it next year, I'll definitely go up and support because I value the support I received."
Paul White added: "Chris is right, the carnival atmosphere; the level of support and the amount of people who turn out is incredible. There were people from all walks of life, different cultures, you name it, but there was no friction, no animosity - they were all just there to cheer the runners on."
Both the IDL members said such memories mean they will never forget the 2008 London Marathon.
Chris Bass said: "I'm still on a high. I'm waiting for the low to kick in. Yes, I am fatigued, I've got a gripe in one knee, and my hip hurts, but I feel fine - I don't know what the fuss is all about."
Paul White said: "I'm okay. I'll admit I was stiff Monday morning, my knee ached, and it's been a bit difficult getting up and down the stairs, but generally, considering I've just run 26.2 miles I'm pretty chuffed with how I feel."
The considerable efforts of the team have not gone unnoticed back at company headquarters in Hockley, Essex.
Managing director Wayne Lysaght-Mason said the team are company heroes in two respects: first, in boosting team morale, and second, in encouraging healthy lifestyles.
"On the back of the Southend run in October 2007 (used as preparation) and now the marathon, a culture of running is beginning to evolve throughout the company, and people want to run reasonable distances, help raise money, and their general fitness levels.
"It's all generated a lot of interest in keeping fit, and as I understand it this summer's 3.5 mile run is slightly oversubscribed at the moment - there'll be no one to work if we carry on."
Team IDL's marathon efforts may have inspired others, but will these two don their running shoes for a repeat performance?
Paul White is a maybe; while Chris Bass is a firm yes, "if only for the support," he said.
IDL's efforts raised £10,00 for H.E.A.R.T UK, a national charity for patients and their families at risk of inherited high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.
All the members of team said they would like to extend their thanks to all those that donated.