Annie at the finish line of London Marathon in 2011
Charming Rewards provides you with versatile keepsakes that enable the memory of conquering an athletic challenge to live on timelessly. Having a passion for running, cycling and swimming and the opportunity to accomplish personal goals in these sports has provided the motivation for me to take on marathons, triathlons and more ! This inspiration led to my decision to train for and complete the 2011 London Marathon unknowingly at the time, would pave the path for the birth of Charming Rewards. The satisfaction of having completed the journey through to crossing the finishing line, meant far more than could be captured by a commemorative medal hanging on a cupboard door. What I needed was a memento which could be carried permanently and be a tangible reminder of the journey taken to achieve this.
Whilst the charm created and purchased accordingly have served as fond personal reminders to this day, the interest in the idea from friends and family members prompted me to pursue a business venture that would be sort after by seasoned athletes and aspiring sports people alike. My 'Charming Rewards' business has grown from strength to strength and is backed by a superb and long established UK supplier, as well as local ones. I am continuously evolving and extending our range to include all kinds of life achievements. I love what I do and am delighted that my customers love my products and that I am able to be part of their individual journeys.
Read a little bit about my story here...
My background is nursing, so I have always been very interested in health and fitness. I really enjoy the outdoors and grew up sailing on the Norfolk Broads. I took up running around the age of 40 to keep fit and to keep up with my young daughter. I did the odd 5k and 10k until I was inspired by friends to do a half marathon and then a full marathon. I enjoyed the challenge and soon realised I could do more than I believed. The decision to run The London Marathon was a big challenge but it was an absolutely fantastic event and an amazing experience. On completing this I wanted a keepsake that I could wear every day, hence the creation of Charming Rewards.
The thrill of completing London led on to do the Loch Ness Marathon later that year and the Berlin Marathon in 2013, all of which were brilliant and each unique. It's amazing how you learn something different from each Marathon to help you with the next ! Turning 50 in 2014 was a milestone and I decided to concentrate on improving my half marathon times. In 2016 I ran the Manchester Marathon, chasing a sub four 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 treatment, I managed to keep the running going, albeit slow, but completely determined to continue with my love of running and regular parkruns. Cancer isn't going to take this away from me. 2017 was largely a year of recovery from the treatments and I kept runs to fun runs and nothing too serious. This entailed running for the pure joy of it and to regain my strength. 2018 allowed me to pick things up a bit and run a few 10k races and improve my pace. In 2019 I began training for the Paris Marathon 2020 which was on track until COVID-19 put an end to that, along with so many races! Now I'm just keeping my fitness up with a mixture of cycling, swimming and running until events return.
It truly amazes me how our bodies can withstand and recover from so much that we put them 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 here.