As you’re relaxing at home this weekend, spare a thought for our Deputy Managing Director, Helen Blakley.

While the rest of us are enjoying a lazy Sunday morning with our coffees and Netflix catch-ups, Helen will endure a 26.2-mile plod around the streets of London.

This year, she’s running her 4th London Marathon in aid of Crohn’s & Colitis UK, a charity very close to heart after she was diagnosed with colitis over 20 years ago.

Running for a worthy cause

Crohn’s and colitis are both chronic, incurable conditions that can be unpredictable, lifelong and potentially life-threatening.

So Helen’s putting herself through another gruelling run because she knows it’s such a worthy cause (which you can support here).

She has always found running pretty rewarding from a health and wellbeing perspective, but it taught her a thing or two about agency life as well.

So what has Helen learned while she’s been pounding the pavements?

Lesson 1: Be prepared and put in the leg work

Helen said, “You don’t just rock up on marathon day and start to run.”

“If you want to get around safely and enjoy it (as much as you can enjoy running 26.2 miles), the hard work starts a full 16 weeks before you step over the starting line.”

“Early preparation always pays off for any work project too”, Helen added.

“Whether that’s delving into the research and insights, understanding the category, trends and latest thinking – you need to allow more than enough time for this.”

“It’ll mean you can adjust and pivot when things inevitably change and still end-up successfully crossing the finishing line.”

Lesson 2: Work towards a goal you believe in

“Running for a charity gives you such a boost and added determination to never give up and fully commit to putting in the hard work.”

“You don’t want to let yourself down, or those who have been generous enough to sponsor you, and especially not the charity, which does such great work with those funds.”

“This is also true in advertising, because it’s more rewarding to go the extra mile on campaigns or projects that will make a real difference.”

“It also applies to people – being able to support, trust and believe in your team and your clients really helps you do what needs to be done.”

Lesson 3: It takes a team

“You may be the person who is running on the day but there are a lot more people behind you that helped you get there.”

 “There’s your family who have been supportive, your friends who encourage you when you’re flagging, plus the charity and other runners who encourage you along the way.”

“The same goes for your work life – you need cheerleaders and allies to encourage and support you and help you keep moving forward.”

“If you’re in a leadership position, you need to support your team so everyone can perform at their highest level.”

Lesson 4: Keep your eyes open

“Plodding the many training miles means you cover a lot of ground but it lets you explore and enjoy what’s around you and see things from different perspectives i.e. not in your car.”

“The same can be applied to staying connected to what is going on in our industry.”

“Things like CPD and tracking the latest campaigns, trends and media opportunities are key to creating better outputs and more meaningful conversations with our clients.”

Good luck, Helen

We want to wish Helen the very best of luck on Sunday and the Genesis Team will all be in our PJs cheering her on.

Helen added, “I want to say how hugely grateful I am to everyone who has supported me and helped me raise money for Crohn’s and Colitis UK.”

“That backing is what will get me to the finishing line.”

If you would like to give Helen a little extra motivation and support an extremely worthy cause, you can go to:

Charity’s twitter: @CrohnsColitisUK

Charity’s Insta: @crohnsandcolitisuk