After the initial shock of signing myself up to run the Cardiff Half I realised I am going to need to train! I started leafing through running magazines to get used to the goal I have set myself. At 65, I am classed as a super veteran! I am not alone, so far there are 89 runners in this category. So now I have begun running 5 miles early in the morning to fit with my shifts at Ategi. I don't use a step counter, some days it goes well and others I am knackered! One day I was joined by a beautiful boxer dog who was looking for a playmate, he was a bit of a challenge. I have been getting some running tips from my brother in Holland, who belongs to an athletic club, and I have gained some tips on running technique. I am now running 4 times a week!!
Wil is running for Ategi!
We're excited to announce that Ategi Support Worker, Wil, has decided to take on the incredible challenge of running the Cardiff half marathon on October 2nd to raise money for Ategi.
You can follow his journey here as we post updates, and you can make a donation on his just giving page here.
We asked Wil why he's decided to take on this challenge:
Wil: It was a spur of the moment decision of to run the Cardiff Half for Ategi, inspired by Sheleagh, our Fundraising Manager, when she gave a talk at our team meeting. I thought why not? Ategi provides a very valuable service to hundreds of people who need care and support.
I have been a Support Worker with Ategi for 8 years and it has really grown on me. The people I have supported have become part of my family. I enjoy the freedom we have to try new things that they have not experienced before, to bring a little adventure into their lives. One of my clients had never been on a bus journey before, so we went together and he loved it.
I didn’t plan to work in social care. It happened after I left my previous job in the world of finance. My daughter said “this job looks interesting Dad, why don’t you apply?”. So I did, and here I am. Being a support worker is the opposite of working in finance, where everything is about money. Ategi is about caring for people. I am very pleased to have set myself a challenge to run the Cardiff Half, it is a win-win to raise funds for Ategi at the same time.
Wil is running the Cardiff Half on Sunday 2nd October, if you want to follow his progress head to the Wizz Air Cardiff Half live tracking website here. Wil's race number is WILLEM 999, you can use this to get live updates on Wil.
All money raised by Wil will go directly into the Ategi Wellbeing Fund. If you would like to donate to Wil and the Wellbeing Fund then head to Wil's Just Giving page.
Follow Wil as he sends updates on his training journey:
I have set myself a goal of a minimum of 3 runs of 10 to 15 km weekly.
It's going better than anticipated, helped by the nice weather. Fortunate the practice run I do is completely in the shade of the trees, it is the old railway track from Caerphilly to Cardiff dock (old coal transport). Early in the morning it is very quiet, apart from last Friday morning when a variety of birds, pigeons, sparrows and other one started flying in a panic everywhere. In the next clearing I saw a red kite circling above, I did not stop to see if it was successful.
From the railway line the path turns into forest fawr again in the shade at that time. The warm weather of late was quite bearable for me. In 10 days time I will be visiting my family again for our annual cycling tour - this has been a tradition for 34 years.
I’m back from last weekend’s family cycling tours in Holland, so my legs had plenty of exercise - all combined approx 100 km! I'm back in training although the dutch bier tasted nice... The weather is a tad cooler so I don’t perspire as much. Tomorrow I will attempt my first full-length half marathon - 4 Miles in is Bargoed hill a real killer, but from there on it is gently downhill and flat.
The training has cost about a stone in weight so far. Noticeable shedding of the leaves early this year, probably brought on by drought.
We are on holiday from the 10th for a week in Minorca. but I won’t forget my training!
I'm back after nice break in Minorca. Lovely and warm, 30-34 degrees on average!
I have done a few runs over there although early in the morning it was warm already.
My favourite run was along the seafront and coastal paths which were very well sign posted.
I had a slight cold coming of the plane but that seems to me an occupational hazard (planes).
My training runs are about between 10k and 10 miles depending how it goes and how I feel.
I don’t keep track of distance and don't run to music. It's personal for me, it interferes with my breathing.
The training I do enjoy, especially early in the morning. I can honestly say that nothing else quite wakes and sets you up for the day. I am not an evening running person because I seem to suffer from stitches (possible food intake.
The improvement is that the distances are getting easer. It seems that when you get your second wind the last part of your run is not half as laboured as the first half.
This weekend will be the last of my big runs possibly a near half marathon on Saturday or Sunday.
Next week a few short speed workout (dutch advice) and I should be ready for action.
I am looking forward to next Sunday with anticipation and slight nervousness just hope that the weather is kind. The anticipated time I hope for is 2hrs to 2hr10.
I can’t go flat out as I've got a client on Monday to look after!
This is a final update from me before Sunday’s run.
My race number is WILLEM 9993. Tomorrow is my last run with some sprint work on Friday.
Here are some FAQs I get asked!
FAQ 1: Why do you still do a lot of sport?
I am lucky that I can still do sport. I enjoy being fit and I want to keep the advancing years at bay.
FAQ 2: Don’t you get worn out with stuff you do?
Every one gets strains and injuries of some sort or other, but they usually clear after some time.
FAQ 3: Does sport run in your family?
Yes it does, my oldest brother (81) still does skiing, lang lauf and goes on serious walking holiday’s.
My other older brother is a runner, cyclist and speed skater (73) and the whole of family like music and are musicians.
My father was disabled, he had polio as a child but I inherited a good pair of lungs from him.
From my mother I got varicose veins and a good memory.
FAQ 4: When did you get into sport?
I played a lot of football until my 15th birthday then girls, cigarettes and music took over. The smoking had to go as we were living right on top of Haldon hill in Torquay.
The getting fit was not easy for me as I'm no born athlete. It was 5 yards running and 20 yards walking, but as the years went by it got easier. Badminton took my interest and I haven't looked back since. I've played in lots of competitions and clubs, I still pay doubles for a club.
If this inspires you and you think that you want to have a go at a walk or a run or something else don’t be scared have a go you can always laugh at yourself!