Charlotte & Justin reflect on their marathon efforts

In the aftermath of their Herculean efforts in the Brighton Marathon on April 14, Charlotte Davies and Justin Gosling quiz each other about what motivated them to run – and what kept them motivated all the way to the finish line …

 Brighton Marathon 1

Justin Gosling interviews Charlotte Davies

So Charlotte, you’ve just completed your first marathon. How does it feel?

Remember last year after your first marathon you said to me “next year it’ll be you” and I laughed at you? Turns out you were right!

It’s an amazing feeling. It was so much fun. It’s strange, though; I’m a novice runner and this whole running thing has surprised those who know me. I don’t have anything to compare it to but I suppose, yes … that must have been a marathon.

You look pretty happy in the photos. Was it painful?

I was happy! Like yours, it was plain sailing for the first 16 miles or so. Then the sun came out, I overheard the words “everything hurts” and realised I was in exactly the same situation. Everything, literally everything hurt and I had a walk a lot. Still, I managed a spectacular finish – and seeing that finish line after 26 miles is like nothing I’ve ever felt before.

Brighton Marathon 2

What cause did you run for and why?

I ran for Hapsoro Trust Fund Initiative which was set up for the family of Hapsoro, forest hero and friend of EIA who died last year. Hapsoro’s family is Niken, and children Galuh, Elang and Arum, and they live in Bogor, Indonesia.

How does this cause tie in with the work that EIA does?

EIA has a long history of forest work in Indonesia and worked with Hapsoro and the networks there for many years, and loves him and his family. When you have people and friendships like that protecting Indonesia’s forests, there’s hope; and what a lovely family there in Bogor.

Did you receive any memorable messages of support or feedback from Hapsoro’s family?

marathon poster for charlotteWell, I really appreciated the support of Niken, Hapsoro’s wife. The kids painted the best picture, which I got it the day before, and it’s perfect – see for yourself! So that just made my marathon the best. Usually I get scared before running, but with this I felt full of happiness and I smiled all the way through. So if I ever make it to Indonesia, I can give those hugs in person!

I received donations from all over the world, from Louisiana in USA to New Zealand, Indonesia and Europe, and lots of lovely messages. So far I’ve raised over £1,600, with donations still coming in, which is beyond anything I dreamed of. I am overwhelmed, overjoyed and very grateful. So thanks to everyone who supported me!

What’s next on your running calendar?

Well, there’s a 10k in a few weeks; easy, right?! I hope to do a half marathon and yes … I am wondering about trying another marathon! But I’ll think on it while I relax my blisters and eat cake.

Can you tell us five songs that make up the soundtrack to your marathon?

Hmmm, good question … well, some time back, with kind assistance, I made a running compilation, so five of my faves which are about both running and life are:
• Fred Neil and Dino Valenti – Ride Stormy Weather / I’m Gonna Run
• Sam and Dave – Hold On, I’m Coming
• Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
• Creedence Clearwater Revival – Keep On Chooglin’
• and, of course, the Boss, Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run … you know it!

I considered it a good sign that two of the above were played over the PA during the marathon. It was just a bit difficult to run rather than dance at those bits … I kind of managed both; it’s a good way of moving!

If you wish to find out more about Charlotte’s run and sponsor her, click here.

Charlotte Davies interviews Justin Gosling

You ran the Brighton Marathon with EIA’s Debbie Banks in 2012; what inspired you to enter again this year?

I registered pretty much straight after completing last year’s event. I found it motivating to have a goal to train for, and the day itself was so memorable. I just wanted to do it all again.

What was your fundraising cause for and why did you choose it?

This year I ran for EIA. I’ve known EIA for almost 10 years and think they’re one of the most effective environmental organisations around. Because of the plight of elephants and the risk they face due to illegal ivory trade, I wanted to help EIA do something about it. They have a long history of working on this issue and I know it’s something the organisation feels passionately about. Plus, I have many friends at EIA and I knew I’d get great support leading up to the event and on the day.

What were your feelings leading up to and on the day? Did you have to overcome any obstacles to get there?Brighton Marathon Justin

Well, I’m convinced that running a marathon isn’t about the day itself but the 18-plus weeks of training beforehand, starting mid-December in the case of the Brighton Marathon. I managed to sprain my ankle badly a few weeks before starting training, and on my first training run I could barely jog for a few minutes. I also spend most of my time in Bangkok and was waking up at 5am to beat the heat, which has been hitting around 40°C lately. I know you had to endure a freezing winter but I’m not sure which is preferable.

What was the actual run like? What helped and what hindered?

On balance, it was great. I really wanted to beat my time from last year so I pushed myself. Everything started hurting around mile 16 and it got pretty difficult to keep going. But my family came to support me, along with some familiar faces from EIA which was great, although they were pretty noisy! They did buy us a beer afterwards, though – and baked cakes!

Reflections and final thoughts?

The whole experience has been very rewarding. I’ve already signed up for next year’s Brighton Marathon. Maybe I’m mad but it’s a great feeling to be with thousands of people, most of whom are running to raise money for just and deserving causes. It’s great to feel part of that.

How much did you raise?

So far I’ve raised over £1,400, which is amazing. Every one of the 40-plus people who donated has been incredibly generous because they’ve each given what they can afford.

I’m really pleased to have raised so much for EIA. Campaigning and running marathons are similar in some ways: it’s a tough, sometimes painful but worthwhile journey – you just have to dig in and keep going.

If you wish to find out more about Justin’s run and sponsor him, click here.