IE News

Reaching for the finish line

Team IE taking on the Birmingham Half Marathon in aid of Trident Reach the People Charity

It’s just over two weeks until the IE Design team tackles the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run, so their training is gaining pace. And it’s not just running a half marathon they need to think about. We’ve set them a team target to raise £500 for Trident Reach the People Charity, so they all need to get their fundraising efforts into gear as well.

Trident Reach the People Charity supports vulnerable people and communities across the West Midlands to reach their goals and ambitions. You can support the team and this brilliant cause through our fundraising page.

Meet the team

Our intrepid twelve have a range of experience. For many, it’s their first half marathon, if not the first race of any significant distance. I caught up with a few of them to find out how their training is going…

Our youngest and least experienced runner is web developer Joelle Symons. She’d never even run a 5km run before so she’s finding the training pretty tough. She says, “Everyone I've told has said I'm mad and it's a ridiculous idea, and they're probably right!”

Development Team Leader Fran Garcia also hasn’t run much before. He’s fitting his training around his responsibilities as a dad, so running mostly when it’s cold and dark outside. He’s got a spot of "runner’s knee" and may be running through the pain barrier on 18th October, so his aim is just to finish in a decent time for a beginner.

Matt Atkinson, Project Manager, is another running newbie – he’s much more at home on the football pitch than pounding the streets. He’s using the half marathon as training for a 'tough enough' challenge in November. He’s found the training something of a chore but had a breakthrough last weekend when he actually enjoyed his long training run for the first time. With some pain in both knees from earlier footballing injuries, Matt will be happy to get round the course in a reasonable time.

Web developer Nick O’Sullivan is also pretty new to running – he’s only done a 5k before so this is a big leap in distance. His main concern in training is setting the right pace, as he took on his 5k too fast and became reacquainted with his breakfast partway round!
Nick’s most worried about the long uphill stretch on the course, “I need to crack on with some hill training. Apart from that, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot seems to be working well!”

At the more experienced end of the spectrum, Digital Consultant Ian Craig has two previous half marathons under his belt, although this will be his first Great Birmingham Run. His personal best was six years ago and it remains to be seen how having a baby daughter will have affected his stamina. He’s been training in the park pushing the pram and recently completed a charity challenge to climb the three peaks and play 33 hockey matches in ten days, so he should be in good shape. Ian says he’s looking forward to the run, “assuming my ankles hold up!”

Last but not least, our MD Ollie Leggett is leading the pack, taking on his fourth Great Birmingham Run. He caught the running bug about seven years ago and has loved it ever since. He’d like to improve on his current personal best time of 1:34:26 at this distance, but as he hasn’t had much time to train he’ll settle for anything under 1:45.

Ollie’s also mourning the demise of his favourite pair of running shorts, so hopefully he’s got time to break in a new pair before the race and they won’t hinder his progress.

Support the team

As a trustee of Trident Reach the People Charity, Ollie’s raised almost £3,000 through his various running challenges, so is looking to boost that total with a big team effort.

He told me, “I'm absolutely thrilled that so many of the IE team are joining me this year – our biggest Birmingham Half team by far. I take my hat off particularly to all those first time runners and hope that they catch the bug.”


To support these brave souls as well as Aaron, Alessio, Alex, Ben, Nathan and Richard, go to

I need to crack on with some hill training. Apart from that, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot seems to be working well!

Nick O'Sullivan
Digital Consultant, IE Digital