Hello, I’m Catherine Egan and responsible for organising events, such as this one, when our UK runners joined French colleague Christophe for the last 10Km of his epic Paris to London run. In an earlier blog on the Olympic, we were pleased to be sponsoring the ‘Val d’Yvette-Londres 2012 en courant’, a unique 410-kilometres (254 miles) run starting in Paris on 21 July and ending at the Olympic Stadium in London on 30 July.
The company was particularly pleased to be supporting service manager Christophe Lasne whose fundraising for ‘Aide et Action’, a charity dedicated to promoting access to education and improvements in child care, was first inspired by a meeting while on a business trip to Guinea in 2004. There a local Malvern colleague demonstrated at first hand the strength and commitment of this organization. Christophe and the 17 other runners taking part are being coached by ultra marathon runner Philippe Fuchs. In an exciting finale, 13 Malvern employees joined Christophe and the team for the last six miles, arriving as near to the Olympic Stadium as possible on Monday, 30 July.
The last 10 km
It was an early 8am start as we boarded our coach to take us ‘somewhere outside of London’ (our driver was obviously up for a challenge!) to meet Christophe Lasne and fellow runners. We were thirteen runners and myself (photographer and editor of our newsletter), all in good spirits for the challenge ahead.
We met with the runners at midday approximately 10 km from the Olympic Stadium and enjoyed hearing of their run so far… a mere 46km! I presented Christophe with a colourful Olympic Torch (no expense spared!) which he proudly carried on the last leg. Christophe was very pleased to have the UK colleagues support saying ‘It is fantastic that Malvern has helped this charity. with a donation but it means so very much more to me to have the support of the UK runners here to join us.’ Nearing the stadium the runners’ compass was slightly off course… but the London police – on their bikes – came to the rescue.
Jenny Bristow said ‘It was a very emotional finish for the French runners when they arrived at the steps outside the Olympic Stadium and realized their nine day journey had ended. Hugs and kisses were exchanged within an atmosphere of great camaraderie.’ ‘Many of the French runners had already completed in excess of 46km’ said James Taplin ‘so by the time we joined them I think they were glad to run the last leg at a steady pace.’
At the time of writing this blog over 6,200 Euros has been raised for “Aide et Action” charity. Once back on the coach our runners could relax and take in the sights of London on their return journey and enjoy a well-deserved glass of water (!) or two!