Geraldine and 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. It has been the creation of long-time friends Annie Harper and Geraldine Jordan who first met whilst picking up their children at the school gates in Norfolk. We share a passion for running, cycling and swimming and the opportunity to accomplish personal goals in these sports has provided the motivation for us to take on marathons, triathlons and more ! This inspiration led to our decision to train for and complete the 2011 London Marathon together which, 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 together, meant far more than could be captured by a commemorative medal hanging on a cupboard door. What we needed was a memento which could be carried permanently and be a tangible reminder of our journey together wherever we went.
Whilst the couple of charms purchased accordingly have served as fond personal reminders to this day, the interest in our idea from friends and family members prompted us to pursue a business venture that would be sort after by seasoned athletes and aspiring sports people alike. Our '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. We are continuously evolving and extending our range to include all kinds of life achievements. We love what we now do and are delighted that our customers love our products and that we are able to be part of their individual journeys.
Read a little bit about our individual stories 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 met Geraldine who inspired me to run a half marathon. I enjoyed the challenge and soon realised I could do more than I believed. Shortly after this, I decided to run The London Marathon with Geraldine. It was an absolutely fantastic event and an amazing experience. On completing this we each wanted a keepsake that we could wear every day, hence the creation of Charming Rewards.
The thrill of completing London led us 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.
Geraldine Jordan 'G'
I was born and raised in London and previously worked in the city in recruitment, before making the move to Norfolk 20 years ago. Seeking a fresh challenge at age 40, I decided to start running and it wasn't long before the self-fulfilment attained from having my training efforts rewarded with a strong race performance had me hooked. So hooked in fact, that even four failed attempts to enter The London Marathon left me undetered! In the year that I finally made it through the ballot, I'd already convinced my friend Annie to up her running distance from a 10k to a half marathon. She agreed, on the condition that I challenged myself to learn the piano. I passed the Grade One piano exam; Annie and I ran the marathon together and the road to Charming Rewards was laid.
Since then we've also completed the Loch Ness and Berlin Marathons together. I've been fortunate enough to be able to build on my first ever sprint triathlon in 2013 by competing at Ironman Bolton in 2014, as well as at the World Triathlon Age Group Championship in Mexico in 2016 and the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon in 2019. These have been overwhelming experiences and I'd recommend any hopeful triathlete to, quite literally, take the plunge !
I also 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.