Whether you run, walk or simply cheer from the sidelines, the London Marathon is a British sporting event like no other. BNY Mellon’s Ashley Carson, who joined the company’s graduate programme in September 2015 following an internship, will be one of the 36,000 people running the 26.2-mile (42.2km) marathon on Sunday, 24 April, 2016. We asked Ashley why she decided to run in the Marathon this year and how she is feeling ahead of Sunday.
Running a marathon was never in the forefront of my mind but I really enjoy challenging myself in new ways. I’ve played basketball all through my life and at university, sometimes training up to 13 times a week. After recently graduating from university I needed something to fill that ‘sporting’ void and was keen to try something new. So when I found out there were places to run for an amazing charity which BNY Mellon works with, Community Links I couldn’t turn down the opportunity, both to challenge myself and to raise money for such an incredible organisation.
BNY Mellon has partnered with Community Links for almost 10 years and provides the full funding for the charity’s’ employability programme for 16-19 year olds. Based in Newham, East London, Community Links runs 25 social action projects reaching more than 14,000 vulnerable children and adults each year.
I’ve volunteered for Community Links a couple of times and every time I have been in awe of how kind and generous those who work there are. They do amazing work, tackling deprivation and inequality in East London, helping people move from poverty towards more promising futures.
I’ve never knowingly run more than 5 miles, let alone a marathon, so training started with a lot of research. Basketball training consists of a lot of sprint and weights, so this was a completely different type of training. I have thoroughly enjoyed my training so far, going for big runs on weekends and squeezing in shorter ones after work. So far I have reached 20 miles; I’m hoping the adrenaline on the day will take me that extra six!
At first I struggled with the long distances but have found that, in true millennial style, keeping yourself distracted is key! I now try to change my runs all the time and use the time to explore different parts of London whilst listening to an audiobook.
I am extremely excited about Sunday. I know many people who have completed the Marathon before who describe it as an experience like no other and that it is extremely special. My friends, family and colleagues at BNY Mellon have been extremely supportive and I could not thank them enough.
The London Marathon will be broadcast in the UK on BBC One from 08.30 BST on Sunday 24 April, 2016. For those outside of the UK, follow the hashtag #LondonMarathon on Twitter for live updates and photographs from the event.