When Suze Sharman heads to Catton parkrun on December 10, she is hoping it will be a special Saturday for 1000 different reasons.
The 33-year-old from Norwich is one of 40 people nationwide selected to be a Tribe Freedom Run ambassador for the running/cycling nutrition company Tribe’s charity event.
And that means that across the country the weekend will see dozens of 10k runs taking place in a bid to raise £10,000 for its chosen charity Unseen, which campaigns against modern slavery.
Last week, on November 26, saw her and husband Mark scoping out the park ahead of the charity event, which is where Runnorfolk caught up with her.
Suze, 33, from Norwich, has created a route which takes in Catton parkrun before heading out along the ringroad to Cromer Road, Fifer’s Lane and back into the park via Church Street.
“I am afflicted with an inability to say no,” she explained. “I got a Facebook post from Tribe, a running/cycling athletic nutrition company. They put out a call to say they were looking for some ambassadors to lead a Freedom Run for 10K for their quarter four charity – which is the Unseen charity. I got an email to say congratulations I had been chosen.
“The idea is that there is a weekend of 10ks, so every hour on the hour across the UK on December 10th and 11th there will be a 10k freedom run for Unseen happening somewhere, which you can join in on.
“I’ve had to choose the route. I asked for the 9am to 10am slot on the Saturday because that’s when I know a lot of people run 5k. For a lot of people I know who run, another 5k isn’t a huge difference, but actually it makes that Saturday morning a little bit more special, especially when you are running for a charity like Unseen.
“I’ve kept it as simple as I can. Catton Park run is quite a challenging course. After that it’s Fifers Lane, Cromer Road and Church Lane – it’s a wider loop around the park. Probably not as picturesque, but I wanted to keep it nice and simple so that people can remember it.
“We are also planning on having a tail runner, mid-runner and a front runner, so that you don’t have to worry about getting lost. There will always be someone around.
“We’ve got a welcoming committee for when you get into the park before parkrun. I recommend you get here from about half past eight. There will be people to head for.”
Suze, who works as a senior test manager for IBM, has set a target to raise £1000 from the event, and you can find out more at her Just Giving page
“I think the target for the whole quarter four is £10,000. I set our target at £1000, which is quite a high target, but as much money as we can raise will be great.
“You don’t have to be in Norwich – it would be nice to see people there but have a search on Facebook and do whatever is closest to you.
“What I would like to see is a good turnout – 40 or 50 people would be nice, and a good uptake in donations.
“I reckon 50% of our target would be good – if we could get to £500 on the weekend of our run that would be amazing.”
Who are Unseen and what do they do?
Suze explains: “They are campaigning against modern slavery. It’s not slavery as we might think of it. Actually it’s making someone work for room and board, or making them work for a wage that’s lower than they deserve. It’s not giving them the freedom they deserve as a human being.”
Supporting Suze during the freedom runner is her husband and fellow runner Mark, who actually proposed to his wife to be at the Adnams 10k in Southwold in 2012.
Mark, 36, who works as a library and information assistant at Norfolk Library Service, will be acting as a tail runner during the Freedom Run.
Suze got me into running and that’s the beauty of running that someone can get you into it when you are not maybe where you want to be. But when you get better and more confident at it, you can then help other people be it through charity or getting other people to run.
I’ve been running properly for three or four years. It started off with parkruns. I signed up for a 10k to propose – it is actually our anniversary proposal run last weekend at Southwold.
It started off with me getting dragged around. I run in my own bubble. I don’t talk and I don’t like being talked to. So a tail run is perfect for me as I can pretty much follow people.
If you want to support Suze click here to go to her Just Giving page.