By guest blogger and first time London Marathon runner, Claire Broom

Our guest blogger, and first time London Marathon runner, Claire Broom talks to us about why she has taken on the challenge of running the London Marathon for Crimestoppers.

So, where do I start? Me…I’m a 35 year old, Mum of one, partner, busy full time worker who has taken on the challenge of running the London Marathon for Crimestoppers. It’s been a roller-coaster so far!

The reason I’m running for Crimestoppers?
Well I’m an ex-police officer of 14 years and I saw first-hand the devastation crime can cause for a person, their family and friends. Information that has come in anonymously via Crimestoppers has helped me in the past to investigate crimes. I’ve been a victim of a burglary and I can say it was one of the most intrusive, anxiety-producing things that has happened to me. Crimestoppers is a charity, which some people are unaware of, and yet their work is all-encompassing. They have helped solve crimes and are striving to make our communities safer through their work.

Picture of Claire Broom, London Marathon runner for Crimestoppers

How have I been fundraising?
The key for me was to start early. I set up a JustGiving page and asked friends, family and associates to donate. I have raised over £1,100 so far! I love baking: I have done bake sales at two police stations that I used to work at, and at my son’s playgroup. Everyone loves a cake, don’t they? I roped in my Mum and colleagues to help me produce sweet and savoury treats!

My main fundraising idea was to complete a raffle. I had to register with my local Council and had proper tickets printed. I then sent lots of messages to local businesses and attractions that I use myself and would recommend to others. I managed to secure 10 fabulous prizes ranging from a one night B&B stay in a country house hotel, to a meal for two in a lovely pub, to cinema tickets. People have been very kind and generous, particularly when they know you are running for a worthwhile charity. I have to be honest – I love the fundraising more than the actual training!!

How has my training been going?

Lastly (and probably most important of all) I only started running two years ago; before that time I could barely even run two miles and was very slow. I decided to start running for me; it was a thing that I could do on my own, to relieve stress and enjoy some of the beautiful countryside whilst running past it. I am lucky to live in a lovely but hilly village not that far from the seaside. I started competing in 10K races and then moved up to half marathons, beating my personal best each time. I’m not super quick but I’m determined!

Why the London Marathon?
I decided to run the London Marathon as it’s a challenge like no other. ‘Go hard or go home’, was my motto! I have found fitting my training runs in a little on the difficult side. I’ve found myself juggling lots of things: working full time, spending family time with my partner, his children and my little boy, dropping my little boy off to child care and my very dependable Mum. I have been managing to do it all…just.

I try and run three times a week, one long run and two short runs. My place of work has good sports facilities so I am able to run around the sports hall once a week to get out of the cold. I have 16 miles planned for this weekend and I’m roping in my partner to run with me part of the way for company…there are only so many Scott Mills’ podcasts I can listen to! People must think I’m weird when I’m laughing to myself running listening to Scott but, hey, at least I’m smiling and not crying.  🙂

Thanks for reading and wish me luck, Claire x