The first back for the New Year, and we’re kicking things off with a special one.

Lloyd Kembrey has a personal connection to Jessie May, and has chosen to run the Rome Marathon on Sunday 27th March in memory of his cousins. We spoke to him to find out why Rome, and how ready he is for the run in just over a month’s time.

What motivated you to run the Rome 2022 marathon?

Throughout my childhood I have always played sport, mostly team based games. Due to lockdown and the suspension of these activities I began running for both my physical and mental health. I discovered that I greatly enjoyed running longer distances, and along with 3 friends we decided to run our own “unofficial” marathon from Bristol to Bath, and back again in May 2021. This was my first time running a Marathon and immediately after we all agreed we’d never run one again!

Then after a few months later we all decided that we would love to discover a city through running a Marathon, and having previously been to Rome and loving it, we felt it was a great place to run. The food and beer after the run will surely make up for it as well!

Why did you choose to run for #TeamJessie?

Jessie May is a charity that holds a special place in the heart of my whole family. They were supported my cousins, Francesca and Josephine, during their lives and the support given to them, my Auntie and Uncle and the rest of the family was just immeasurable. From that time, I have been in awe of the work and support the charity and their team provides to both the children they care for and their families.

We as a family have been involved in many fundraising efforts, including attending various business open days, bag packing in the supermarket and fundraising outside the Bristol Hippodrome at a young age with our cousins. Because of this, when I decided on running the Rome Marathon, I of course decided to do it for Jessie May and in my cousins’ honour.

How is the training going?

The training has been going well so far. After the marathon last year, I have followed a similar training path this, time however I am aiming of a time of around 3:30/3:45 in Rome. I have added more hill running to my training to work on my building up my stamina. My training consists of one 15/20km run a week, a 5km or hill run and then to top it off, a football match on a Saturday. This has been really useful, and I feel in a strong place ahead of the marathon.

Can you share a memorable training run?

During one of our recent longer runs we decided to take a different turning on a usual route for a bit of change of scenery. This ended in us having to practically ice skate on mud rather than run due to the amount of flooding the footpath had taken. This ended up being a mile of slipping and doing our best not to fall over in to huge muddy puddles – not fun!

In terms of memorable for better reasons, I found running along Studland beach last Spring an incredible experience and certainly was more enjoyable than running along the Bristol-Bath cycle path.

What do you listen to during your training runs?

On a smaller run I tend to listen to music as I find the beat of the music keeps me moving at a fast pace. My guilty pleasures at the moment are Ronan Keating, Five and Rod Stewart. Although I have to say they aren’t really a guilty pleasure I just think they are great!

For my long distance runs though, and for the Marathon training, I tend to listen to podcasts as they last longer and I can allow myself to be completely engrossed in the story, which takes my mind off the running. My favourite podcast is called “Undr The Cosh”. It’s a football podcast all about the careers of now retired footballers who played professionally. I enjoy these as I have grown up watching most of them play, so it’s interesting hearing about the human side of people you’ve watched run around a pitch, kicking a football!. I’ll probably save up 2 episodes to listen to during the marathon.

Where can people follow your training journey?

The best place to follow my Marathon journey will be via Jessie May, as I am working with the team to document my training in the run up to and on the day.

You can visit Lloyd’s fundraising page on Wishy here:

For more updates, follow Jessie May on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.