Supporting Harris Hill's Sam Kondic in the London Marathon!
We love a charity challenge here at Harris Hill, but it's rare that one of us is brave/lucky/foolhardy enough to tackle one of the toughest of them all. Yes, the Virgin Money London Marathon, or as you may have also heard of it, the London Marathon.
So we're delighted to be cheering on our very own superstar finance specialist Sam Kondic this year: top-notch charity finance consultant by day, but can he run as well as he recruits? With just a few weeks to the big day, we quizzed him on how and, perhaps more importantly, why he's putting himself through this...
What made you decide to apply to run the London Marathon?
My dad ran the London Marathon when I was 12 and I jumped over the barrier and ran the last mile with him! Ever since then it's been on my bucket list and I've been putting my name in the ballot for the past couple of years.
How did you feel when you heard you'd got a place?
In all honesty a bit daunted! I hadn't been running much last year so it was a bit of a reality check when I realised what I've got myself into and the amount of running I was about to embark on. But after the initial shock I was really excited to get started.
Who have you chosen to raise money for?
I'm raising money along with my brother who is also running the London Marathon this year, for a small charity called BackCare.
BackCare is a national charity dedicated to providing support, advice and guidance for the diagnosis and treatment of back and neck injuries. We chose them because my brother suffered from back pain whilst training for the Brighton Marathon in 2015, and we wanted to support a charity that's doing great work in helping prevent back and neck pain.
What's the furthest you've run before?
I ran the Richmond Half Marathon back in 2014, however I wouldn't class myself as a natural runner! I remember that feeling like a huge challenge to complete and now I'm running half marathons in my training runs at the weekends, this is definitely a big step up!
How's the training plan going?
The training's going well, I'm now starting to really up my mileage every week with my longest run so far at 16 miles, just 10 more to go...
How confident are you feeling and what's going to be the biggest challenge?
I'm feeling good and am hoping to cross the line in under four and a half hours, however I've got a track record of running too fast too soon in runs (I don't like getting overtaken) so my biggest challenge will be pacing myself and not hitting the wall half way through. It's a marathon and not a sprint after all....
Are there any of your recruitment skills that will come in handy in the marathon?
Every day in recruitment is different, and naturally there are highs and lows. That's mirrored in training runs where I can feel great after a 14 mile run one day and feel sick of the thought of running a 3 mile run home after work another day. Being in recruitment has taught me to always push through and stick with the task at hand. You never know if that perfect candidate you've been looking for is just around the corner waiting to find their dream charity role.
What are the biggest challenges you face in charity recruitment and how does the marathon compare?
I specialise in recruiting for accountancy and finance roles for charities and not for profits in London and across the UK; which includes everything from entry level finance positions up to qualified Finance Directors, both interim or permanent. So managing my time well enough to find the best charity accountant for each of the organisations I'm working with can be challenging, but as with the marathon I know that if I put in the time and hard work the results will come in the end.
How's the fundraising going and most importantly, where can we donate?
Fundraising is going well so far with lots of support from friends, family and colleagues; and even from Dr Brian Hammond, the Chairman at BackCare (thanks Brian!). If you would like to donate please visit our Virgin Money Giving page.
And last but not least, what are you most looking forward to when it's all over?
A beer and a burger!
Cheers Sam and go Team Kondic! We're sure you'll have loads of support and certainly from all of us here of course (though we'll probably be better at the beer-and-burger stage than the actual running bit...)
If you'd like to support Sam and his brother's marathon fundraising challenge, here's that donation link:
Ben & Sam's London Marathon Fundraising Page
Good luck to Sam, Ben, and everyone else who's getting involved this year, whether you're supporting friends or family, running yourself or supporting as a charity - all the best and bring on April 23rd!
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