SE10 goes the extra 13.1 miles!

On Sunday 3rd March, four members of the SE10 UK team – Maria, Ben P., Jack, and Hannah – joined around 13,000 other runners taking on the Cambridge Half Marathon. They crossed the finish line not only with impressive times, but also with smiles on their faces and a collective £1,031 raised for Juno Women’s Aid. In this blog post, we catch up with each team member to hear about their experiences, from their motivations to enter, to their training strategies, and what made the race day so special.


 Why did SE10 choose to raise money for Juno Women’s Aid?

Juno Women’s Aid is a Nottingham-based charity that provides safe refuge and support services for women and children affected by domestic abuse. Being from Nottingham, I was aware of some of the vital work this charity does, but it was also a cause that resonated with the whole team’s values. Participating in the half marathon to raise funds for Juno added a personal layer of meaning to the challenge, fueling my determination and pushing me to reach the finish line.

What personal goals did you set for yourself in the Cambridge Half Marathon?

While I’ve always enjoyed staying active, I haven’t been as dedicated to running in recent years due to other commitments. So, for me, the biggest goal was simply to finish the half marathon. It was a demanding challenge, but I wanted to push myself outside my comfort zone and prove to myself that I could achieve something significant.

What would you say to someone thinking of entering a half marathon for the first time?

13.1 miles is a long way so training is important to help you feel confident and prepared but it’s a great sense of achievement when you finally cross the finish line – and if I can do it, anyone can!

What’s on your running playlist?

My running playlist is a mix of upbeat and motivational songs to keep my energy levels high.


How did you transition from being a non-runner to training for such a demanding event?

I prepared carefully and made sure I was aware of any potential difficulties I would face, especially starting from the very beginning. I, therefore, made sure I had robust answers to the following questions:

  • When will I have time to train?
  • Where should I train – what are the best running routes in my area?
  • What health and fitness challenges could I face when running, and what do I need to do to minimise them?
  • What training plan should I follow, and how long should it be?
  • Can I adapt to any unexpected obstacles, such as injuries or time constraints?
  • What is my race time goal, and is it achievable for me?

What’s on your running playlist?

I had a very wide range of music genres on my playlist, as variety helped keep my runs more interesting, and the changes kept up my energy levels. That said, the genres I found most helpful were Blues Rock and late-90’s Hip Hop and R&B.

How did you feel crossing the finish line after achieving this incredible feat?

My first feelings were of relief and exhaustion, followed by a sense of satisfaction and disbelief – I still find it difficult to believe I managed this!

What motivated you to join the SE10 team entering the Cambridge Half Marathon?

As someone with a lot of commitments in my life right now, I had two thoughts when I was offered the opportunity to run the Cambridge Half Marathon – adding another large commitment would be very difficult, and having a clear fitness goal could boost my energy levels to help me focus on my other commitments. Thankfully, I prioritised the second thought, which motivated me to sign up and to work hard on my training. Though it has indeed been a difficult journey, it has also been a rewarding one.


As a seasoned runner with many half and full marathons under your belt, what made the Cambridge Half Marathon stand out for you? 

I was actually surprised by the sheer number of people participating – and observing for that matter. The event area reminded me of Glastonbury Festival, mud and all, and the start and finish points were quite grand to enhance that race day buzz. It was also my first time visiting Cambridge, and it qualified my long-standing belief that the very best way to see a new place is to participate in an organised run through it. 

Did running as part of an SE10 team add a different dimension to your race experience? 

The colleagues I ran with in Cambridge, I have enjoyed spending time with anyway, but it was extra special to see us all in our ‘war-gear’ ready to conquer 13.1 miles. I have done a few organised runs alone and been pleased with my performance and happy with the event, but it’s even better to celebrate with a friend across the finish line. I’m very proud to run with them and cheer each other on, and I hope I will get to again. 

What advice did you give to your colleagues about running their first half marathon? 

‘Enjoy it!’ It’s such a simple straightforward activity with immeasurable reward. You’re up early on a Sunday morning, challenging yourself to run a distance that isn’t a normal distance to run in one go. So, if you have to slow down, slow down. If you must stop for a bit, stop. But know when you think you’re done, you’ve probably got a little bit more left. 

What’s on your running playlist? 

I remember when I would stay up late the night before a run to tailor a specific playlist to get me over the line. With a bit more experience, I now prefer to run sans earphone to help monitor breathing, take in the electric atmosphere, or, if I have someone to run besides, enjoy the conversation and point out all the interesting things you will probably see along the way.


How did you approach the training?

The past few months were rough weather-wise, so I made the most of dry weekends with longer runs at a comfortable pace to build endurance and fitted in shorter, faster runs in the week where possible to improve my speed.

What’s on your running playlist?

My long runs were the perfect opportunity to delve into some lengthy podcasts. I particularly enjoyed Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place, where diverse guests share honest and insightful stories about overcoming challenges and finding meaning and happiness in their lives.

How was the Cambridge Half Marathon experience for you?

It was absolutely phenomenal! The atmosphere was electric, with incredible energy from the crowd. People were cheering all along the course, creating an unforgettable experience. It made a huge difference and ultimately led me to achieving a new personal best!

What motivated you to enter the Cambridge Half Marathon?

While I’ve always enjoyed a casual jog for fresh air and exercise, I never pushed myself further until Jack convinced me to enter my first half marathon last November. The experience sparked a desire to improve, and the Cambridge Half Marathon appealed to me for its beautiful setting and the personal connection I have to Cambridge from my undergraduate studies.

It’s safe to say the Cambridge Half Marathon was a resounding success for the SE10 team. We are incredibly proud of their accomplishment and their commitment to supporting a worthy cause. Their story is a testament to the power of teamwork, setting personal goals, and going the extra mile!

By Hannah Kitchener

Associate Director

About the Author

Hannah is an associate director based in the UK, who leverages her strategic, campaign management, and written content creation expertise to support clients in the construction, energy, and materials handling sectors across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). With a professional qualification in Journalism from the National Council of Training for Journalism in the UK, Hannah has strong interviewing and writing skills that enable her to craft compelling content for clients across multiple platforms. Her experience and knowledge of the construction, energy, and materials handling sectors, meanwhile, have helped her build a strong network of trade media contacts across the EMEA region, enabling her to secure meaningful media coverage for clients. In addition to her journalism training, Hannah’s academic qualifications have further honed her ability to communicate across cultures and languages. Having studied French and German at BA level, and with an MA in Translation, Hannah has a passion for inter-cultural communication, which is invaluable to SE10 in executing PR campaigns across multiple markets and in several languages.