Sporting spotlight: Lewis Gladwell

Published: 1 July 2024 at 09:34

Lewis and runners running in front of the Cambridge Half Marathon sign with the words "Sporting spotlight", and logos for Team ARU and the Cambridge Half Marathon 2024

BSc Business with Marketing student Lewis describes his Cambridge Half Marathon run and gives advice and encouragement to others.

Name: Lewis Gladwell
Course title: BSc Business with Marketing
Staff or student: Student
Faculty/Service: Faculty of Business and Law

In your own words, tell us about your sporting achievement or upcoming challenge:

I completed the Cambridge Half Marathon in March, which was a significant personal achievement given the injuries I've been dealing with over the past couple of months. Due to these setbacks, I was only able to train up to running 5 miles, so tackling a full 13.1 mile half marathon was an ambitious goal.

What made this race even more meaningful was that I ran it alongside my dad and a close family friend. Having my dad by my side was incredibly inspiring, as we were marking the one-year anniversary of my grandfather's passing this month. My grandfather meant the world to me, and running this race in his honour gave me an extra boost of motivation.

The course wound through the picturesque city of Cambridge, and despite my lack of ideal training, I was determined to push through and complete the distance. Whenever I felt like slowing down, the crowds of spectators and fellow runners with their cheering and words of support motivated me to carry on. My dad and our family friend provided endless encouragement as well.

How did it go?

I ran non-stop and then at 12.5 miles, both my legs cramped and seized up. I thought it meant my race was over, but I was determined to finish so I carried on despite the pain. As we approached the final mile, the crowds and energy were electric. Crossing that finish line was an indescribable feeling of joy, relief and triumph.

What would you say to someone to inspire them to follow in your sporty footsteps?

I know first-hand how daunting and intimidating it can feel to take on a big athletic challenge, especially when you're dealing with injuries or setbacks in training. Trust me, there were plenty of moments during my half marathon where I wanted to give up and thought I had bitten off more than I could chew.

But the feeling of crossing that finish line and achieving something I didn't think was possible made every bit of struggle and pain worth it. The incredible support from the crowds, my family, and my fellow runners taught me that we're all stronger than we think when we tap into our reserves of grit and determination.

If you're on the fence about taking on your sporting event or goal, I can't encourage you enough to go for it. Start with a small, manageable step and work your way up. Enlist the help of friends or family for accountability. And most importantly, don't be derailed by setbacks.

The satisfaction of proving to yourself that you can overcome mental and physical barriers is second to none. Trust the training, trust the process, and you'll surprise yourself with what you're capable of.

Want to join a running group? Find out when ARU running groups meet.