Geraldine & Annie at the finish line of the London Marathon in 2011
Charming Rewards is the creation of Annie Harper and Geraldine Jordan who love to run, bike and swim and take part in events from 5k to Iron distance triathlons! We live in Norfolk and met at the school gates picking up our children. We both thrive on a challenge, from the initial idea, to the reward of achieving something we thought we couldn't do. We trained together for the 2011 London Marathon and after crossing the finish line and hanging up the medal, we wanted a special keepsake which we could wear every day. We found a silver smith and had a couple of silver charms made for us which we treasure. These were admired by our friends so much that we had a few more made and before we knew it we had started a business selling them and called it 'Charming Rewards'. We think we should all reward ourselves with a little something to celebrate our achievements. We love what we do and our customers return over and over again for more keepsakes. We are delighted that our customers love our products as much as we do and that we are able to be part of their journey.
A little bit about our own journey
My background is Recruitment and I grew up in London and worked in the City. I moved to Norfolk 20 years ago. When I turned 40 I decided to give running a go ! I loved that sense of achievement on the finish line and was hooked. I entered the London Marathon ballot for five years before I got a place and then convinced Annie she should join me. Annie agreed to do it...but only if I challenged myself to learn the piano !...as she had recently passed her first exam. I passed my grade 1 piano and Annie and I ran the London Marathon together and Charming Rewards was born !
We also did the Loch Ness Marathon in 2011 ! A fabulous race and so different to London ! In 2013 we did the Berlin Marathon, another amazing one ! I also decided to try a Sprint Triathlon that year and loved it so much that I did an Ironman in 2014. In 2015, my fiftieth year, I was fortunate enough to take part in the New York Marathon. In 2016 I took part in the World Triathlon Age Group Championship in Mexico, such a fab experience ! Last year I did the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in San Francisco, it was amazing ! I'm looking forward to this year, 2020, as I have qualified to take part in the European Triathlon Age Group Championship in Sweden in August.
It fascinates me that it is possible to improve on your race times as you get older, if you put the hard work in and I hope that Annie and myself will have many more races together as it’s such a wonderful experience to share....we have charms to earn after all !
My back ground is nursing so I have always been very interested in health and fitness. I really enjoy the outdoors and grew up with sailing on the Norfolk Broads. I took up running around the age of 40 to try and keep fit and to keep up with my young daughter! I did the odd 5k and 10k until I met Geraldine who then inspired me to run a half marathon. I really enjoyed the challenge of it and soon realised I could do more than I thought I could, if I really put my mind to it. It was shortly after this that I decided to run The London Marathon with Geraldine. It was an absolutely fantastic event and an amazing experience. On completing this we wanted to have a keepsake of our achievement that we could wear every day hence the creation of Charming Rewards.
It was after the thrill of completing the London Marathon that led us both on to do The Loch Ness Marathon later that year and then the Berlin Marathon in 2013. All of which were brilliant and so so different. It's amazing how you learn something different from each Marathon you do to help you with the next one. Turning 50 in 2014 was a milestone and I decided I would concentrate on improving my Half Marathon times. In 2016 I ran Manchester Marathon, chasing a sub 4 hour time! but it wasn't to be! However, it was my fastest Marathon to date (4.08) which I was delighted with. A couple of months after this I was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer which was a major shock to the system. Despite chemotherapy, double mastectomy and radiotherapy treatments I managed to keep the running going, albeit slow, but completely determined to continue with my love of running and regular Parkruns. Cancer wasn't going to take that away from me. 2017 was pretty much a year of recovery from the treatments and I kept runs to fun runs and nothing too serious, just running for the pure joy of it and regain my strength. 2018 has allowed me to pick things up a bit and run a few 10k races and improve my pace, so now on the road to full recovery and looking at next years opportunities.
It truly amazes me how our bodies can withstand and recover from so much we put it through. We really do have to take care of them and remember just how incredible they are.
If you are interested I have a blog you can follow... https://annieharpersite.wordpress.com/