#TeamSportForGood takes top podium at the Oxford Half Marathon
October 17, 2014
Last Sunday, #TeamSportForGood, along with 4,482 other runners, took on the famous Oxford Half Marathon, the third of eight Vitality Series Runs on the 2014/2015 calendar. We are very proud to say that the winner was #TeamSportForGood member David Bruce, who crossed the finish line in 1:11:26!
We caught up with David after the race to talk training, being a last minute entry and his passion for the Sport for Good movement.
Laureus.com: If you could just tell me a little about yourself, what you do and where you are mainly based?
DB: I've lived in Oxford for the past 10 years. I came here for university where I met my wife and we've been here ever since. I'm currently a surgical trainee working at the Orthopaedic department of Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury (I've previously been based at the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre and the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford).
Laureus.com: You were a last a minute entry to the Oxford Half, why did you decide to run this year and how did you hear about #TeamSportForGood?
DB: I was hoping to enter earlier but was due to be on-call over the weekend. Luckily a colleague of mine asked to swap the Sunday at the last minute so I was able to run the Oxford Half. My wife has a company called Run3D and was asked to help at the pre-race training day (with Laureus and Vitality) - it was through this that I heard about Laureus and was offered a place in the Oxford Half.
Laureus.com: But you have won the Oxford Half in the past? What year was that?
DB: I've run it for the past two years - I won in 2012 and was third last year.
Laureus.com: You must be a big runner! Do you train all year, various times a week?
DB: I've run since I was at school. At university, I ran for the Blues team (Oxford Uni first team) for both cross country and athletics. I still run for the county and for my clubs (Highgate Harriers / Oxford City AC). It's a bit of a juggling act squeezing in training with work but I try to run every day with some longer runs at the weekend.
Laureus.com: As an elite runner, do you have any tips that have worked well for you to give to other #TeamSportForGood members who are looking to improve their times?
DB: Training consistently is important, though sometimes that can be hard to do with work. For people just starting running (or coming back to running) I've often seen people build up the training too quickly, which then leads to injury - so it's important to listen to your body and gradually increase your level of training. Remember, the recovery also has a big impact - so try and eat soon after your run, stretch and if you do a hard session then give yourself an easy run the next day. Once you've built up a good base then you can start to think about doing 'quality' training sessions (for example reps or tempo runs - where you push yourself a bit harder). You'll notice the difference and feel yourself improving - and that's a great feeling!
Laureus.com: You were involved in a youth sports project in your student days. Can you elaborate a little bit on that?
DB: Yes, I set up a charity as a student to raise money for Right To Play, which has a similar ethos to Laureus. It was called Oxford University Right To Play and raised a few thousand pounds. I think since I've left it may have closed, though it kept going for a couple of years at least, as far as I'm aware. We did fundraising events like a 'treasure hunt'/orienteering race around Oxford, raffles and nights out for the university sports teams.
Laureus.com: And finally, what do you think of #TeamSportForGood and, more generally, the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, which uses sport has a tool for social change helping millions of kids all over the world?
DB: The support team on the day was great and made me feel very welcome. It was a friendly atmosphere and I think all the participants enjoyed it - so a big thanks to the team on the day.
I love the idea of using sport to educate, inspire and enable people. It provides a great medium - sport is enjoyable and brings individuals together. It's the perfect way to involve everyone and at the same time it's wonderful that it can be used as a tool to give young (and old!) people structure and education. There's a wide scope for the ability of sport to help others and it's good to see this being used in a positive way by the Sport for Good foundation.
I think it's particularly appropriate for charities such as Laureus to use races and sporting events for both fundraising and to deliver their charitable goals.
The Vitality Run Series features seven half marathons and one 10k run, offering the biggest collection of half marathons in the UK sporting calendar. The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation is the official charity partner of the Series.
Join #TeamSportForGood today and you’ll get the benefits of a top team to support you. You’ll get sporting expertise, training days with sporting legends, week by week training programmes and nutrition advice from top coaches – all providing great support and camaraderie. You’ll even get a limited edition, money can’t buy, Team Sport for Good running vest.