The Running Charity

Early on a Saturday morning a few weeks ago, I found myself cruising up the ginger line to Highbury Fields to photograph a training session for The Running Charity. It was one of those first sunny days of Spring which made the early start much easier to contend with, though a couple of the guys had already been up and run a 5k before I even arrived so I could hardly bemoan my comfortable journey North on an empty train, coffee and croissant in hand.

The shoot was for the Big Issue, with my task being to capture shots of intrepid journalist Adrian Lobb being put through his paces in one of the weekly running training sessions that the charity gives to homeless and vulnerable young people across the capital. Using running and fitness as a positive impetus to instilling confidence and empowering homeless young people, the charity offers training by qualified fitness professionals and quality sportswear to don whilst doing it. Encouragement to participate in public running events is also tendered, in the aspiration that step by step, those involved will make a successful transition from homelessness to a healthy and fortuitous future.

As a recent running convert, I had particular interest in the warm up techniques and cardio boosting sprints, though I must admit to feeling more than a little relieved I was the other side of the camera. After such an intense fusion of squats, burpees and on the spot jumping, even before any actual running had commenced, I fear there would be little to distinguish between the colour of my face and the trademark vibrant orange shirts.

The session looked really fun and everyone involved graciously helped me in my task, running back and forth until I had the shots I wanted even though they were all pretty knackered from the exercises that lead instructor Claude (one of the charities many success stories, having worked his way out of homelessness and into the position of a qualified instructor) had already put them through.

To read Adrians views on the session, see the feature here but more importantly this Sunday both Adrian and Claude are running the London Marathon on behalf of The Running Charity. To sponsor them in this magnificent feat please follow the links for their individual pages and help make a healthy difference to the lives of the homeless.

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