This week we caught up with our incredible Marathon Runner, Children’s Social Worker Ian Dodds who raised well over £1500 for our cause and who kindly agreed to an interview.
Oasis: What is your connection to Oasis?
Ian: I first heard of Oasis through my role as a children's social worker - Domestic abuse and violence is an unfortunate part of a lot of the lives of the young people that I work with and it is something that has a generational effect. The work done by organisations like Oasis can break that cycle.
Oasis: Had you ever supported us before the London Marathon?
Ian: Yes- I did Ride London (100 mile bike ride out to Surrey and back) last summer and got my place by fundraising for Refuge - they weren't asking for a huge amount so I wanted to match what I got for them for Oasis, so that a local, as well as a national charity, would benefit.
Oasis: Thank you! It meant a lot that you wanted to support local women and children and we were so pleased when you also offered to run the London Marathon for us. What was the best thing about that challenge?
Ian: The scale of it! The support on the route is unreal and there were times when all you could heard was the roars of encouragement and support from strangers! Going over Tower Bridge was almost surreal - and made all the better by the cheer section of my club, Coastal Striders, just afterwards - it gave me a massive boost at a tough part of the run. Completing it also meant that I'd finished the London Classics (the marathon, RideLondon and Swim Serpentine) - so I got another, extra special medal at the end!
Oasis: How much training did you do?
Ian: I run several times a week anyway, so the biggest change was building up the time I was running on a Sunday; my longest training run was about 20 miles and I tried to vary doing longer, slower runs (I liked doing Birchington to Reculver and then round to Ramsgate) with a faster run mixed in with my normal weekly miles. Having a community resource like Parkrun is invaluable for the support, consistency and routine that is offers - I first went down to the one at Pegwell as a decided 'non-runner' a few years ago and now I feel a bit lost if I don't go!
Oasis: How did you fit it round your work? We know that social workers have long hours…
Ian: Running is part of my routine anyway so I tend to fit a few hours a week in of an evening - then spend my Sunday morning doing a big run.
Oasis: Playlist or podcast?
Ian: When I'm on a big run I like a podcast – ‘Do Go On’ is hilarious. During a race I'll tend to not bother with headphones but I did have a playlist I made up which I dipped in to when I was struggling.
Oasis: What’s your favourite running tune?
Ian: The Pokemon theme tune is an incredible way to feel like a champ!
Oasis: No comment! Back to the marathon: What time did you complete the race in and was it close to what you anticipated?
Ian: Just under 5 hours - which is about what I was expecting. I have run quicker but it's such a busy race that you lose time in the crowds… and I was more focused on enjoying it than trying to get a particular time.
Oasis: What was the first thing you did after finishing the race?
Ian: So many selfies.
Oasis: We loved your photos! And one last question: What would you say to people who are training for the 2020 Marathon
Ian: Get a plan, get a routine and stick to it - find out what works for you and keep at it. Building yourself up slowly will help you in the long run… and never say never! The London Marathon is such an inclusive event and such an phenomenal achievement, it's worth the slog of training.