Readers' Letters

Editor’s comment: Why did I say I’d run this thing again?

PUBLISHED: 15:03 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:03 16 May 2018

Runners set off at last year's Hackney Half. Picture: VIRGIN SPORT

Runners set off at last year's Hackney Half. Picture: VIRGIN SPORT


I’ve somehow managed to convince myself my catastrophic fear of running is a good thing.

After all, some very generous folk have sponsored me to the tune of nearly £300 to run the 13.1-mile course on Sunday, so the least I can do is make it exciting for them by being hopelessly underprepared.

My default state after about 100 metres is something akin to a slow-motion panic attack, a heady blend of claustrophobia at being out of breath and fear of my own self-judgement should I give up.

Thank goodness for the Gazette team trainer Matt Smith, who has not only agreed to run the course alongside us (and raise money for the Winter Night Shelter while he’s at it) but has also been helping me recover from a minor but painful knee injury. I’ve set foot inside a gym five or six times in my entire life, and all of them have been this year and thanks to him.

A little jog through Hackney is, of course, absolutely nothing compared with the daily struggle faced by the men and women who rely on the Hackney Winter Night Shelter. The shelter’s volunteers and staff do incredible work providing beds, food, shelter, company and advice to some of Hackney’s most vulnerable people. But because funding is tight, it’s closed now, and it probably won’t be open until November, meaning as I write this some of the people it helps are back on the streets. Everyone deserves access to a safe, stable, warm home; it is a scandal that thousands of people in Hackney don’t have that.

Archant, which publishes the Gazette, will match all the money we raise in donations. With Gift Aid on top, you’re giving the shelter more than double what actually comes out of your pocket. It’s a pretty good deal, and it’ll help people who are used to anything but.

So please go to if you’d like to help. And perhaps I’ll see some of you at the finish line.

Latest Hackney Stories

Yesterday, 17:24

A late strike from Lily Owsley saw England come from behind to grab a point in their Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup opener with India.

Pre-season friendly: Concord Rangers 2 Leyton Orient 3

Yesterday, 11:30

London Lions have announced that guard Jordan Spencer will begin his professional career in the capital next season.

Yesterday, 11:30

Middlesex all-rounder James Fuller had mixed feelings after his stunning 6-28 haul proved in vain in a Vitality Blast T20 defeat at Hampshire.

Yesterday, 10:00

James Fuller’s six-wicket haul proved in vain as Middlesex lost to Hampshire in their latest Vitality Blast T20 match on Friday night.

Yesterday, 09:00

Lunchtime gardening by office workers has turned a littered patch near London Fields into a blooming community project.

Yesterday, 08:30

Hackney’s streets are not used to being scorched two weeks running and the aromas being revealed make for an intense running experience, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Yesterday, 08:00

NBA Crossover runs from August 10-12


To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.

Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists