Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Senior Partner Paul Berwin explains why a passion for running has significant business benefits.
I’m fortunate to have a lot of interests, and a lot of passions; and one of my longest lasting is a love of running.
I was never a runner at school. I played football in a very average way, in truth I was a mediocre defender for my team; but I was first back when we went for a training run.
So, when Chris Brasher announced the first London Marathon, to take place in March 1981, I thought I’d give it a try. There had never been such a mass participation running event, with as many as 7,500 taking part, then. I ran 3 hours 24 minutes in that, and a little quicker in the New York City Marathon later that year.
I stopped running soon after, but rediscovered its joys in about 2000, and have been running ever since – either just running, or for several years, in triathlon. Of all sports, running is the most basic. You can’t spend much on kit; you just need good shoes. You can’t spend much on club membership; I recently renewed membership of my club, the mighty Harrogate Harriers, for the price of three pairs of socks. You can’t gain an advantage from super aero equipment; you have to run, and train, to get better. There is no hiding place when you run. You just bring along what you are, and you get out of it precisely what you put into it.
To me, that gives running an essential honesty and integrity. It’s probably absolute nonsense, but I would trust a runner. It is the most elemental of sports, and I feel privileged to be able to do it, and to have been able to continue to do it through my adult life. There is little so joyous as running, alone or with others, on a country trail, where all you have to do is focus on the ground in front of you and the vistas before you.
Running gives you more – it gives you headspace, away from your smartphone, where you can allow ideas to germinate, sometimes entire speeches or strategies, complete solutions. In this year where many businesses have faced challenges never dreamt of, runners were still able to run, outdoors, all the time, and the clarity of mind and natural rhythm of the run enabled me both to keep strong and fit, but also to have that thinking time to think issues through, and find positivity.
All being well, in October, I will be back at the start line at Greenwich, for my fourth London Marathon. As in 1981, I will be running to raise funds for Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, and also this time for Henshaws in Knaresborough. And to tie passions together, two days before I hope to be leading the Berwins Festival Run, one of Berwins Digital’s contributions to Leeds Digital Festival of which I am a director, as we run a gentle route around the digital sights of Leeds.
Paul Berwin is Senior Partner at Berwins Solicitors.