Matthew & Barbara—London, England

Tell us a little bit about yourselves!

We are both lawyers who work for law firms in London, England.  Although we met through work, thankfully, we have more in common than just the law!  We enjoy being outside and being active as well as good food, wine and beer but one of our main shared passions is travelling in the USA and we particularly love New England.  We are both big Boston Red Sox fans…so much so, that when we got married last year we flew back to London from our honeymoon in the Caribbean via Boston to see the Red Sox play the Yankees!

How long have you been running/racing?

Barbara: I did my first 5k back in 2003 as part of a team in college and I nearly fainted I found it so hard but I got the bug and soon after I graduated to 10k and then ran my first half marathon in 2008.  Over the next few years, I really enjoyed doing triathlons, trail races and half marathons and completed the Dublin marathon in 2011.  In 2013, I lost a really good friend to a rare disease called aplastic anaemia and I wanted to do something positive and challenging in her memory to raise money for the Anthony Nolan bone marrow charity so I entered the 120 mile, 6 day Transrockies Run in Colorado which I completed in 2015 with incredible support and encouragement from Matthew the whole way.

Matthew: I have completed a few 5k and 10k races with colleagues from my law firm over the last 12 years or so but I probably enjoy cycling more than running.  However, since I met Barbara four years ago I have done a few more races and we completed a half marathon in Austin, Texas in 2013. When Barbara did the Transrockies Run in 2015 I volunteered as part of the race crew and I think that volunteering at races can also be fun and rewarding.

Why do you run/race?

Barbara: For me, racing gives me a motivation to run and I run to stay physically fit and healthy.  However, I think the positive effect on my mental health is as great if not greater than the effect on my physical health – I am never in a bad mood after a run!

Matthew: I probably don’t enjoy the thought of running and racing as much as Barbara but the feeling of finishing a run or a race makes the effort worth it. As we spend a lot of time sitting at our desks, it is good to get moving and it doesn’t matter how slowly you run, as long as you can get out there and do it!

Why did you decide to register for the LAHM & 5K

Barbara: Last year we got married and moved house so things got pretty busy and running and exercise kind of took a back seat.  We were planning our vacation in New England this year and I thought it would be nice to pick a race and then have a goal that would motivate us and help get us back in shape.  I looked at the LAHM & 5K and thought it seemed like a really great race with a strong focus on the community. It also gives us the chance to visit an area of Maine that we haven’t seen before.  Of all the races I have done, I always find it is hard to beat the support and encouragement you get when racing in the USA so I am really looking forward to saying hello to everyone in September!

Matthew: It is really good to have a goal to train for together but as we are planning to do quite a lot of driving on our vacation, we thought that I would enter the 5K so that one of us would be feeling a little bit fresher afterwards.  I think it is great to have the option of the 5k as well as the half marathon because there is still the opportunity to be involved on the day without needing to run quite so far but if my training goes well and I change my mind it is great that the organizers allow you to switch between the distances. It also was easy to convince me to enter when Barbara mentioned the possibility of a post-race apple crisp!