The London Marathon is one of the best races on Earth. But if you run for Oxfam, yours won’t be the only life that changes. In The Whatever The Weather Issue we hit the roads with marathon man Henry Holland.
In April 2012, i-D Editor Holly Shackleton will be running the 2012 London Marathon to help raise money for Oxfam. Every year, approximatley 300 runners hit the capital’s streets for Oxfam; the money raised from sponsorship provides people in developing countries with the training, skills and support they need to develop small businesses and in doing so transform their lives.It means families earning a decent living, more children attending school and financial security for future generations. Last year Henry Holland and Agyness Deyn took up the challenge, as part of ‘Oxglam’, a running squad set up by fashion photographer Rankin and his wife Tuuli. Here Henry recounts his marathon experience (he completed the race in an amazing 3 hours, 28 minutes and 59 seconds!) and why he decided to take up this life-changing challenge for Oxfam.
Hi Henry, why did you decide to run the London marathon? The London Marathon is something I’ve always wanted to do and something I have banged on about for years. So when the chance arose with Oxglam I went for it. What is it about Oxfam that you identify with? Oxfam is an amazing charity that works by helping people sustain themselves in developing countries, helping them set up business and working towards helping them create a better future for themselves. Rather than just giving people in need handouts, Oxfam give people the tools they need to create a better future for themselves and their families. I really like their stance of helping people to help themselves. Oxfam invited you to Tanzania. What did the trip involve and how did it make you feel? In Tanzania we visited a lot of the projects Oxfam had underway to understand the ways in which their work was changing people’s lives. It was tough in some ways to see people who were in need of help, and we did see some upsetting things, but in general what we saw was positive and heartwarming. We even went on a training run in 34 degree heat, which nearly killed me! Tell us about your marathon training… I was training most days a week for increasing amounts of time as the marathon got closer. I was increasing my miles by two miles a training run, doing a big run once a week (thirteen-twenty miles) and then stamina runs about three times a week, with a rest day and some smaller runs in between. What advice would you give people thinking of running the marathon for the first time? It’s an amazing experience, but my advice would be to do it properly and get a good time. I doubt you will ever want to do it again, so make this time count! Did anything happen on the day that you weren’t prepared for? VASELINE. Did you and Agyness stick together during the race, or power on through? As soon as the klaxon went off I put my earphones in and didn’t look up until the end. Sorry Aggy, I wasn’t very sociable but I really wanted to get a good time. Plus Aggy had her brother running with her so I knew she was ok! Was it worth it? Totally. And now I never have to do it again… Well not this year anyway!
If you want to sponsor Holly to run the 2012 London Marathon and raise money for Oxfam, please do so here.