As the UK & Ireland Country Manager at Sportswear company ODLO, James Clark is no stranger to sports challenges and supporting charities. In fact, during his time at ODLO, James has ensured that the company - who specialise in sports underwear, run, cycle and outdoor attire - have remained generous supporters of Breast Cancer Haven, a cause close to his heart.

This April, however, James has decided to take his support for Breast Cancer Haven a step further and tackle a challenge he has never attempted before. Inspired by his Mum who has experienced breast cancer, and alongside his brother Jon-Scott, James will be running the London Marathon. Below, James explains why he's taken up the challenge and why supporting Breast Cancer Haven is so important to him.

 

I found Breast Cancer Haven and loved what they were about  

I took over ODLO UK in 2017 and wanted to build some good community programs. The female members of my family loved ODLO’s bras and with my mother having experienced breast cancer and receiving great support from charities during that time I thought it would be a great idea to partner with a slightly less mainstream breast cancer charity. I found Breast Cancer Haven and loved what they were about; how approachable they were and their passion. 

Both ODLO and Breast Cancer Haven believe in empowering women

Initially, ODLO donated a percentage of selected bra sales to Breast Cancer Haven. However, we trebled our bra business from 2018 to 2019 and so it felt like the right time to make the campaign national. We'd managed to get our bras stocked in national retailers like Snow & Rock and Cycle Surgery and so from 2019 we began donating a percentage of all bra sales within the UK and from our website to Breast Cancer Haven.

We believe in empowering women with our women’s specific ranges and thought that donating some of the money to Breast Cancer Haven would be a great way to take this even further. In fact, we're so proud to support Breast Cancer Haven that we've customised all of our points of sale, so it’s clear that every bra we sell benefits the charity.

If Mum can beat breast cancer then I can run a marathon

I’m not sure what initially led me to decide to run the London Marathon for Breast Cancer Haven - I always said I wouldn’t tackle a marathon until my kids were older. My brother Jon-Scott and I have always wanted to run the London Marathon and then earlier this year, Jon-Scott said something to me like, ‘if Mum can beat breast cancer then we can run a marathon.’ Something about that sentence inspired me - there was no arguing with that. It suddenly made sense to do a marathon now, and to run in support of Breast Cancer Haven.

It’s a mental game that I’m prepared to play

My marathon training has honestly been far from ideal due to various reasons - mainly minor injuries I have that keep cropping up and bothering me. I’ve managed to keep pretty fit over the years by playing football, and I also have a few triathlons under my belt, but now I have four kids and a busy work life, which has made finding time to train for the marathon tricky.

Training was going pretty well before Christmas, but I had to slow down a bit during the start of 2019. This month, however, I've brought it back up a notch and managed to run over 100km across a two week period which has built some mileage in my legs.

On the day of the marathon, a bit like other challenge events I’ve done, I know that it'll be a mental game - but it's one that I’m prepared to play. I think that running with my brother will be something that pushes us both along, not to mention the reason we are doing it. I’m just glad I didn’t commit to a running in a costume!

This is for our Mum

This is for our Mum, we want to make her even prouder of us than she is.

If you would like to support James and Jon-Scott's marathon challenge for Breast Cancer Haven, you can donate to their Just Giving page here.