Thank You for the Kind Donations to Cancer Research UK!
Some of you many know that our founder Jack Chaman has been on a journey this year, setting himself a fresh challenge across 2022 - running the London Marathon! His training includes an additional visit to Solihull on Sunday with the Solihull Half Marathon! It's a little warm for the grass and it could be for long distance running too! See the full story below:
Lawn Care Services on The Run!
Written by Jack Chapman
It's always been a mission of mine to run the London Marathon. It's always just looked incredible watching from the TV. Unfortunately with the pandemic, and the time needed to dedicate to the training required has always felt too far away until this past 12 months. With Kingsbury Lawn Care building a fantastic team across the last couple of years, at the end of 2021 I applied to run the London Marathon on behalf of Cancer Research.
The reasoning behind Cancer Research UK is that we lost my Grandad Bob to lung cancer just before the pandemic which came as a shock given how fit and active he always was, even in his 80's. During the course of the summer, we've also lost my Grandad Stew to cancer. The last time I saw him was me calling in as a break mid-run.
I share this because my grandparents aren't any grandparents. When one of our two small vans broke down at the start of 2018 it wasn't great timing for us with an expensive spring to come, us as a recently formed limited company and recently VAT registered meant that it wasn't going to be a routine start to the year anyway. The cash simply wasn't in the bank to purchase a larger van that suited our needs as an up and coming lawn care provider.
This was until my grandparents helped the business with an interest free loan to buy our first Transit Custom in early 2018. This was pivotal in the image Kingsbury Lawn Care could start to project, the size of the equipment we could transport, and the dependability of the van to allow the service we see now really start to take shape. If was their faith in me that was the catalyst to us serving almost 1000 homeowners that we do today. Putting myself through some pain for Cancer Research UK is my way of paying this back.
I'm a big believer in 'sending the evaluator back down' when it comes to fellow lawn care businesses within the UK Lawn Care Association, and supporting those who are in the same positions as us not so long ago, just as those ahead of us have helped us massively in our business journey since 2015. I think this can apply to some charitable work too. After climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro at 19 years old for Meningitis Research Foundation and raising over £2,500 for the cause, I'd like to think that CRUK saw me as a good horse to back!
Training - The Journey Including Birmingham, Glasgow and Solihull!
It's been a journey in itself so far! In early May I ran in the Birmingham Half Marathon with my partner Rachael taking on the 10k to help take the temperature of my fitness at that early stage. To be in a race with up to 15,000 people was incredible and makes me excited for London.
In hindsight maybe I got a little carried away with the training before and after this event as the following couple of months led to me being plagued with injury and running not more than 5k at a time until July!
Something that wasn't in the script this year was our trip to Glasgow for the UK Finals of the Federation of Small Businesses Awards 2022, with us the West Midlands Winners of 'Micro Business of the Year'. With these awards held on a Thursday, I visited fellow UK Lawn Care Association member Pro Lawn on the Friday, and naturally we scouted out the local Parkrun for Saturday morning. Following the run, I found out from a local that this was possibly the hilliest 5k Parkrun on mainland Scotland which again, maybe didn't help the hamstring in hindsight!
The 'Lawn Man' and Solihull
On planning for an early October London Marathon, there's maybe no better place to run a Half Marathon (and another 10k for Rachael) than the lovely town of Solihull. We really enjoy covering Solihull for our lawn care services and I'm going to enjoy the 13.1 miles in 25c heat come this coming Sunday 14th August! I read that the support through Knowle is fantastic so I'm very excited once again. Rachael less so this time with the expected temperatures!
Fundraising for CRUK
Fundraising has been going well, with us now on the cusp of raising £2,000 for the cause. I'm incredibly grateful to everyone who has got involved so far.
Donors so far have included the generosity of fellow lawn care business owners that I've shared ideas with, with donations coming from customers either direct or via our enhanced referral scheme, a donation from Kingsbury Lawn Care, the generosity of family and friends, and donations from relative strangers at my grandad's wake was incredibly touching.
I have a stiff target of £3,000 set with just 7 weeks until London 2022 (Sunday 2nd October) and given the above I'm driven in making that and a sub 4 hour time on the day, hopefully closer to 3h 45. The training from here on in combined with our biggest Lawn Renovation Season to date is going to be brutal!
Please view my Giving Page for further updates on my progress. Here I:
- Share my story
- You can view the current fundraising total
- You can view my Strava total mileage tracker (354 miles at the time of writing!)
- You can view latest updates including recent runs and posts
- I share an image of me on Mt Kilimanjaro not looking my best at 5,739 metres above sea level!
- You can view all donations - I would be extremely grateful if you could make the next donation yours!