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Let the training begin!

My name is Amy and I am the Visitor Experience Coordinator at Middleton Hall Trust. I have signed up to run Nottingham’s Robin Hood Half-Marathon this September to support match funding for the restoration of our Tudor Barn.

Amy, Visitor Experience Coordinator

Many of you will be familiar with the beautiful Tudor Barn that stands in front of our Courtyard Centre. This incredible building was constructed in 1604 so it is not quite Tudor. Queen Elizabeth died in 1603 so it is technically Jacobean. Anyway, the Barn was lived in up until the estate was sold in the 1960s and weathered fifties-style wallpaper is still clinging to some of the walls. Owners of the Middleton Estate have also used the Barn for production or work purposes. Inside, the building is structurally sound and there are only a few areas that are not safe to walk across. Wattle and daub, a Tudor construction technique, is visible where parts of the wall have cracked away. Wattle and daub construction involves intertwining sticks with horse hair, then compacting it with mud and manure to make it strong. This building has so much potential, but only with funding can we restore it to its former glory and turn it into a visitor center.

Exposed wattle and daub in the Tudor Barn

We recently made a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for just under 2 million pounds to restore the Barn. On this occasion, we were unsuccessful, however, we received a lot of positive feedback and we plan to re-apply towards the end of this year. One of HLF’s suggestions was to show evidence of our ability to raise funds for a specific project. The Heritage Lottery Fund expect charities to contribute part of the project money themselves to show that they are committed: this is known as match funding. I aim to raise £1000 for the Tudor Barn Project through running the half-marathon. This figure is minimal in comparison to what we actually need, but it proves to funding organisations that we are determined and starts the ball rolling for other fundraising activities.

Tudor Barn

I am not an experienced runner and before I started my training I was not very active, so this is a huge personal challenge. Before I set off on my first run, I was advised to go for a gait analysis and buy a suitable pair of trainers. Everybody has different feet and legs and we all run in different ways, so it’s important to run in footwear that suits your feet. Running in the wrong footwear can cause you serious damage. I went for a gait analysis at the Sutton Runner in Sutton Coldfield. I ran on a treadmill whilst the back of my calves and feet were being filmed. I watched the video in slow motion with the specialist who pointed out how my legs bent slightly inwards when I ran. This could cause injury if I did not have ‘Stability’ trainers that have a slightly thicker instep than normal trainers. I bought a pair of stability trainers and started my training!

Amy’s gait analysis at the Sutton Runner.

I am using an app called ‘10k runner’. According to the app, if I follow their training plan and run 3 times a week for 14 weeks, I will be able to run 10k by the end of June. Then, there is another app that trains you from being able to run 10k to 21k (the length of a half-marathon) in time for September. The app uses the walk/run method. It starts you off running for 1 minute, walking for 1.5 minutes, alternating between the two for 20 minutes. Gradually, it increases the length of running time as your stamina and fitness improves.

If you are interested in sponsoring me, you can donate through my BT My Donate page. I have chosen to use BT because they do not take away any money at the end, unlike Just Giving who take away 5% of the money people have donated to you for their admin fees. Every penny you donate through my BT My Donate page will be given to Middleton Hall Trust.

To donate, please follow the link below:


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