From office projects to training programmes: Paul’s journey to the London Marathon
Paul Becerra is Contracts Manager with Morgan Lovell – an interior design, fit out and refurbishment specialist – the team that recently created Livabilty’s national office to be fully accessible and step-free.
During the project, Paul has become a great supporter of Livability and has chosen to run the London Marathon in aid of our work. Here’s why he’s running.
Paul, why did you choose to run the London Marathon?
I have always watched the London Marathon from my armchair, and vowed year after year to run it. One of the questions we were asked by Livability during the recent office refurbishment, was ‘how can we go the extra mile for the charity?’
So when I heard that there were spaces to run on behalf of Livability, I decided to go the extra mile (or so) by volunteering to run, and here I am at 58, living that very dream.
What was your role in the recent Livability office refurbishment? And does a particular moment during the project stand out?
My role was to oversee the delivery of the project along with our project team. One moment that still remains precious was the handing over of the project when, Liz Walker, Executive Director of Resources and Deputy Chief Executive for Livability, was brought to tears. It wasn’t until this moment that I realised how special this project was to the Livability team.
What are you most looking forward to for the London Marathon?
I am looking forward to seeing all the thousands of supporters who give so much encouragement to everyone running.[x_blockquote cite=”Paul Becerra” type=”left”]”I can’t wait to run around that corner at The Mall to see the finish line and to finally feel the excitement I always see on the faces on runners on television – the excitement of accomplishing a real challenge.”[/x_blockquote]
Are you running as part of a group? If so, how are you helping/enabling each other?
I am running with a colleague but he runs a faster time than me so I will probably only see the back of his head for a while!
Our workloads are very different and we live some way from each other so we don’t train together, but we frequently get together to support other, sharing training stats and edging each other along. We are also fundraising together so it’s great to catch up and update each other on where we are and who we are targeting for sponsorship.
What physical and mental preparation have you done?
I am running a training programme for marathon novices and I started as soon as I was offered a place to run for Livability. I have totally dedicated my time to it and I use the sacrifice of this special time and energy as a reminder of the importance of who we are running for.
I have found the mental preparation as challenging as the physical, so I am hoping both will be up to scratch come marathon day!
What does your weekly training routine look like?
I save my longer 15 miles runs for the weekends and have kept Mondays and Fridays as rest days. The programme I am following progresses as time goes on, now reaching a maximum of 20 miles just before the big day.
What have you found hard about preparing for the marathon?
One of the hardest parts of training has been trying to get my running gear washed and dry in time for the next day’s run! I have also had to watch out for traffic and pedestrians to make sure I don’t knock them flying.
How have the people around you helped you to prepare for the marathon?
Our company is fully aware of our commitment and I always get fellow runners coming up to me with advice and good lucks, it’s really encouraging. I have even been out with colleagues who run during their lunch break and this helps a lot. Especially as they run at my pace!
My wife has been very supportive. In fact, she went out and brought all my running gear for Christmas and likes to ride her bike alongside me when I run at weekends. My family is a great leveller and they bring a great deal of banter in to the mix. We are a tight knit family and it’s great to know their support is always there.
Paul Becerra is Contracts Manager for Morgan Lovell the UK’s leading office interior design, fit out and refurbishment specialist. Read about how Livability and Morgan Lovell worked together to create a truly accessible, cutting edge work space for their national office team.