What an achievement – British 10k London Run

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OpenBet ran the British 10K London Run at the weekend – here they are at the start line, running around the iconic site of London (with the support of live bands and local stores), collecting their medals and finally celebrating their efforts – well done team!!

Thank you to those who donated to the Charity of choice. The team are still collecting donations for their efforts – if you would like to donate to Epilepsy Research UK head to our fundraising page – OpenBet fundraising page

The Vitality British 10K London Run is coming up, the team get training and fundraising.

Two places in the Corporate team went to members of the HR team – one place went to Phill Allen and having applied unsuccessfully for a place in the London Marathon for the last four years he is excited to be joining a race that follows many of the good parts of the marathon route.
Phill’s training and fundraising journey:
“I’m excited to be running for the 2016 official charity – Epilepsy Research UK  – Interested in donating? head to our fundraising page  Epilepsy Research UK fundraising page
My training Journey was a short but eventful one. I joined forces with my HR buddy to train for the run I quickly realised that two busy HR people trying to coordinate training runs is harder than getting an elephant into a mini.
After three failed attempts at arranging to train together, we cleared the schedule to run but London flooded, if only we were training to swim the city. We used our downtime to promote our fundraising page on social media.
We aimed for a 35 minute non-stop treadmill run that day and I pre-loaded with Lucozade sport, and half a bottle of water to avoid dehydration. The start was fantastic, 3.2k (2m) in 19 minutes….who would have thought that downing half a litre or more just before a run would have … Repercussions. After a pit stop I managed to complete my 35 minutes…my training buddy says she did 45 but I dont think I was gone that long.  Note to self – running with a belly full of liquid = not good
Two weeks ’til the race, the sun was shining and we aimed for a 6k run with a brief walk after around 4k to catch our breath. We set off brilliantly, made good time for the first 2k. Running across Kew bridge at a strong pace in the sunshine, cooled by a light breeze alongside the tension of the slow moving traffic that’s typical of the evening rush hour, had an almost poetic beauty to it. We ran through streets that seemed to follow the curves of the river until I realised that we were lost.
My aim was to style it out and pretend that I knew exactly where we were going, so chose to follow a fellow runner who looked like he knew where he was going. And I was right, he did – he was going home. I had to admit my mistake to my now visibly knackered training buddy . We chose to use google maps it, 5k into our 6k run we were faced with the reality of a 3k run back. Fortunately the 7.78k run was easier than either of us had anticipated – though note to self – don’t follow strangers.
One week ’til the race – we received our Charity Vests and numbers – can’t wait to run in them! Last night was our last training run and I left the task of planning the 9.5k route to my training buddy – or the task was taken from me, I forget. At 5:10 she proudly presented me with a list of directions…written on her hand! I asked “aren’t you worried that you wont be able to read it if you get sweaty?”. “Don’t worry about it” she replied, “I’ve also printed the map”.  Armed with her hand notes and printed map we set off…I wish I could say that the run was more eventful, but it was a good training run. We completed 9.7k in just over an hour, right on target. When I turned to give my training buddy the obligatory post run high five I noticed the ink on her face. Note to training buddy – don’t write directions on you hand when participating in long periods of exercise!!
Now to stay hydrated and rested for Sunday, looking forward to a drink at the finish line – good luck team!”

30 minutes to go!!!!!

And the countdown begins! Don’t forget to donate here – https://www.justgiving.com/swiminasuit

Thank you to the Union Bar on Chiswick Park for the free hot dinner!!

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Thank you to Starbucks on Chiswick Business Park for the free hot chocolates! It definitely kept him going!!

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From one bike challenge to another

James Howard, a Senior Project Manager from the Coral team, started an intense 24 hour cycle challenge in aid of Footsteps Foundation – https://www.facebook.com/footstepsfoundation

You can donate here – https://www.justgiving.com/swiminasuit

Read James’ full post below:

Challenge #1: To cycle for 24 hours continuously on a spin bike outside on the Plaza of Chiswick Park in London. Plan is to start the ride at 1pm on Thursday 21st April and go right through to the Friday lunchtime, culminating in a full spin class for the final hour. Anyone in the area at the time is welcome to come say hi – I’ll be easy to spot, and there will be a spare bike set up should you feel the urge to pedal a bit yourself.

Challenge #2: To complete Weekend Warrior at Blenheim Triathlon, which involves starting in the first wave on Saturday and running continuous triathlons until the end of the last wave on Sunday. Every time I finish a run I’ll head straight back to the swim to start all over again! On top of this, my wife will be attempting her first ever triathlon that weekend as well, so it’s a full-on family affair!

The Reason: We’re attempting this awesome challenge to raise money for a charity based near Wallingford called the Footsteps Foundation, who help disabled children learn to walk. They performed near-miracles with my own son and I’m desperate for more families to get the same help we did.

The History: Early in 2009 our second son was born with Cortical Dysplasia, a particularly nasty all-encompassing form of cerebral palsy. Given his condition, the doctors gave him almost no chance of ever walking, talking, sitting or even crawling during his lifetime – he was consigned to a silent life laying on the floor!

Our family went through hell for that first year, but then we found Footsteps who have worked relentlessly to help him – and now he sits, shuffles and walks (aided) which is quite unbelievable. And it doesn’t stop there … by learning independence he has also learned to communicate, and his cheeky confidence still grows day by day.

As a huge thank you for all their hard work we’re going to attempt this madcap weekend behemoth, and if you were able to support them with a donation it would be so wonderful.

To find out more please visit our website at www.swiminasuit.co.uk – and a huge thank you goes out to everyone who has helped so far.

James, Lucy & Aiden xx

Guest blog: Ed ‘The Engine’

I used to ride my bicycle a lot when I was a child and a teenager. My first bike was a BMX. I vividly remember the excitement and anticipation I felt on the day when it arrived in a kit. My father assembled it at home despite my baby sister screaming in the background for the duration. The BMX served me well until I was given a Diamond Back mountain bike at the age of 14. I used this until it was tragically stolen in 2009. I couldn’t decide what bike I wanted to replace it so I never bought a new one. Instead, I have relied on Boris Bikes to get around since coming back to London in 2013.

I took part in the Wellness Challenge because I thought it would be fun and would improve my fitness but, most importantly, it would raise money for charity. I ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October 2015 to raise money for Cancer Research and so the concept of pedalling for Macmillan Cancer Support was appealing. When I started the Wellness Challenge, I never thought I would come anywhere near matching (let alone beating) the other OpenBet cyclists since I do not cycle very often now and my fitness levels dropped over Christmas. But as I started getting into a routine, I realised that winning might be possible, and the idea of scooping the Evans voucher to put towards a new bike kept me motivated. Funnily enough, I think riding Boris Bikes has helped. They are so heavy that it requires a lot of effort just to get them moving! I’m glad to have helped foster a competitive spirit – it all benefits Macmillan.

I would encourage everyone to take part in the final week of the Wellness Challenge. There are lots of slots available and it’s for an amazing cause. I assure you that you will enjoy it and reap the health benefits too. It might make you feel less guilty about having all that chocolate at Easter!

PS: I am flattered that the Marketing Team has given me the same epithet as my favourite Thomas the Tank Engine character!

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Ed ‘The Engine’ Sanguinetti sweeps the competition aside again

Ed ‘The Engine’ retains his first place title for a second week running by cycling an impressive 9 miles in a 15 minute slot.

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Like the unpredictability of the Grand National races, we had surprise entries for both second and third places; Claire ‘Turbo’ Timms got second place with 8.9 miles and Terry ‘The Tornado’ Buckle in third with 8.6 miles.

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It is the final week of our Wellness Challenge and we have already cycled 372 miles – aiming to achieve 500 miles by tomorrow!!

 

We are ramping up the miles this week

With Cheltenham taking place this week, one of the biggest event in the racing calendar happening, it has been all systems go, go, go! Despite being a super busy week at the OpenBet office, we have still managed to keep our pedalling power going and we have already cycled an amazing 307.5 miles!!

With Jeff ‘Juggernaut’ still to jump back on the bike this week and ramp up the miles even more, Ed ‘The Engine’ has hit a new OpenBet record with 8.9 miles in a 15 minute slot!  Jeff ‘The Juggernaut’, Danny ‘The Dynamo and Cate ‘The Chaser’ Gregory have got a lot of catching up to do!

 

And the winner for the first week’s Wellness Challenge goes to…

Ed ‘The Engine’ Sanguinetti AND ‘Danny ‘The Dynamo’ Angus!  

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This is how it all unfolded on Friday afternoon:

Early afternoon on Friday, it looked like it was in the bag for Ed ‘The Engine’ as he beat Jeff ‘Juggernaut’ Cleminson’s impressive 8.7 miles!  BUT, at the very last hour, Danny ‘The Dynamo’ Angus swooped in with his pedalling power and matched Ed ‘The Engine”s impressive 8.8 miles in his 15 minute slot.

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It was all happening on Friday afternoon, as Cate ‘The Chaser’ Gregory was cycle ready and pushed through to an amazing 8.6 miles to earn her place on the leaderboard!

When Jeff ‘Juggernaut’ Cleminson realised his defeat for the first week of our Wellness Challenge, it was too late as he was out of the office at a customer meeting.

 

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In total last week, we cycled a whopping 209 miles – which would get us to the offices of our customers William Hill and SkyBet in Leeds.

This it how the leaderboard looked for the first week of our Wellness Challenge.

 

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We are now ready for week 2 of the Wellness Challenge as we kick it up a gear to raise even more money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Who will be the winner for the second week of our Wellness Challenge?  Will Ed ‘The Engine’ keep his title for a second week running? Will Danny ‘The Dynamo’ Angus swoop in last minute again? Will Jeff ‘Juggernaut’ reclaim his spot at number one? Or will Cate ‘The Chaser’ win this week’s challenge?

Or we may even have a new contender this week’s top spot on the leaderboard!

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