Introducing Alpha CRC’s runners for the Cambridge Half Marathon...

The Gr8teful Eight!

Eight enthusiastic employees from Alpha CRC (plus 1 mysterious figure) are running as a team in the Cambridge Half Marathon, 17 October 2021.

Together they are: The Gr8teful Eight!

Our team will be running to support five important charities that are close to our hearts: Translators Without Borders, Reprieve, Amnesty International, CPSL Mind, and UNICEF. All funds collected will be split equally amongst all charities. We’d be thrilled if you’re able to contribute towards our important causes.

Here is the Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/thegratefuleight-alphacrc

So, let me introduce the team…

The Revenant (Paul Mangell)

Paul says that a number of things made him want to run the Half Marathon: definitely to “keep myself moving and motivated” through the lockdown, in addition to the opportunity to run with colleagues, and also to do something positive for their chosen charities. When asked what he’s most looking forward to most for the event, it was an easy answer: “I’m looking forward to a well-earned pint of beer at the end.” Paul has in fact ran both half and full marathons before, and says that he very much enjoyed the Cambridge course which winds its way through several colleges, which was an attractive feature for this race.

The Croatian Sensation (Zeljka Novak Baxter)

Zeljka says she’s made some long lasting friendships through running, and that just knowing you’re going for a run with friends makes it easier to put shoes on and get out of the house. As Zeljka hasn’t had a chance to meet a lot of her co-workers yet this would be a good way to meet people and get exercising. Having only moved to Cambridge in 2020, she’s very excited to run through the historic city core. Zeljka started long distance running about 9 years ago and has done 12 half marathons and 3 full marathons… but thankfully this will be the flattest course she’s ever ran!

The Once-in-a-Blue-Moon (Fernando Blasi)

In addition to his team nickname, Fernando has also been classified as the Forrest Gump of the Alpha half-marathon team: “point him in the right direction, set him off and he’ll never stop running. ”Once, when travelling on business in the US with Paul Mangell, Fernando went out in the late afternoon for a “half-an-hour jog”. Three and a half hours later – in the near dark – he got back to the hotel (having left his mobiles in the room), much to the relief of Paul who had begun the process of sending up flares and gathering a search party. Fernando ended up getting lost, and explored most of North Los Angeles and Marina Del Rey; as we said: “Run, Forrest, Run!”. Fernando mentioned that he’s sure he’ll at least finish the race, hopefully in front of Paul. Although he’s never participated in a running marathon, Fernando has taken part in a number of rowing marathons on a single scull. They were 52 KM and would take about five-and-a-halfhours (for Fernando), to complete. There is a UK rowing event called the Boston Marathon, which he’s have done several times.

The Young (Hao)

Hao is one part of the project management and account management teams, previously a Simplified Chinese language expert at Alpha. She says that she’s honoured to join the Alpha Half Marathon team for the big day in October! Although Hao likes jogging, she says she doesn’t have any previous experience with half marathons, but she plans on doing a bit more exercise and preparation from now on, and would be happy to join the training runs nearer the big race day.

The Muscle (David Kelemen)

Running for David is primarily stress relief and a challenge for himself to keep improving. His first, bigger challenge to-date was the 12K, and in preparation he took part in a night run event in Budapest in 2017. He says that was a huge rush with thousands cheering, winding his way from historic Buda down to the river, with friends waiting near the finish line. David’s been doing sports competitively since he was about 10, and has maintained the urge to compete ever since. Taking part for David is another challenge, but also a way of embracing the city he quickly grew to love. He’s really happy to be a part of a city with a strong community and to support good causes.

The Muddy Boots (Notburga Rothender)

Notburga has been running since she became a member of the local athletics association in her native Austria at the age of 13. These days it is more of a mode of relaxation for her and sometimes she pushes herself to do a 10K or more. In fact, she ran the very first Cambridge half marathon. This was, however, a while back and before having her son. So in her own words: “I’m ready to regain my fitness so would like to sign on to Team Alpha.”

The Terminator (Baptiste Guignard)

Although more of a cyclist, Baptiste says that he’s been running for a while now, although he’s never taken part in an official race. One of the aspects which enticed Baptiste to take part in the Cambridge half marathon was that is a good extra motivation. He believes it will be a great opportunity to test himself, as well as it being a good step towards a future marathon. Baptiste is really excited to race, and is especially looking forward to the thrill of competition, which he’s been missing during the pandemic. The additional charity which Baptiste would like to support for this race is UNICEF.

The Singer (Carolina Franco)

Carolina started running when she was 15 years old, by the beach in her hometown in Brazil.  She mentioned that her city is quite famous for regularly hosting triathlon racings in the country, and the area is flat and quite pleasant to go for a run facing the sea. Carolina tends to think of running more like a meditation, as she’s always noticed that whenever she goes through a really bad period of time, running was the perfect outlet, helping her to get back on track. Carolina has run two half marathons across UK, and a few 10k and 15k races in Brazil. She’s particularly looking forward to this race, and believes it is going to be a good push to start focusing again on what she wants and what is valuable in life.

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