"We treat each other as equals"
We speak with Simon Grigor, who’s taking part in this year’s The Big Half as one of the more mature members of the Run Higher Collective, and Victor Tsui, a fellow runner in the community group. Together, they share their simple running philosophy.
Why are you taking part in The Big Half?
Simon: To challenge myself. Having just turned 65, can I still do a half marathon? And to spend time with friends after the event.
Victor: It’s an enjoyable event and forms part of my training towards the Chicago Marathon, which I’m taking part in this October!
What does community mean to you?
Simon: I consider myself to be part of two running communities:
- The Run Higher Collective. I hugely enjoy running and socialising with a group of people from a huge range of backgrounds, ethnicities and so on, who treat each other as equals regardless of running ability, age, whatever. Nearly all of them are – way! – younger than me and yet I’ve never once heard anyone question why this ‘pensioner’ joins them!
- parkrun – both Harrow parkrun, where I am on the event team, and wider communities around parkrun tourism. Again, groups of people with completely different backgrounds come together to happily share a common interest.
Victor: It represents inclusivity, support – both mental and physical – and friendship with people you wouldn’t normally meet. The Run Higher Collective was formed upon these very principles. I am fortunate to be able to meet up and be involved with many different communities.
Why should people take up running and get involved in events like The Big Half?
Simon: To improve their fitness, make new friends and see different parts of the country and world. The Big Half is a great event. It has a nice route – lots of people come out to cheer you on. Plus, it has efficient support mechanisms.
Victor: It has an iconic course – a sort of reverse of the London Marathon – and is a well-represented event with many communities involved. It shows everyone that running is diverse and anyone can do it! Running has so many benefits and gives you the ability to meet many people from all walks of life.
What are you most looking forward to about The Big Half this year?
Simon: The support from the London public.
Victor: Being able to participate and celebrate with my friends from the running community.
Photo credit: Liviu Enache