Crisis Race to End Homelessness: An interview with Secretariat members Lisa O’Hara and Stephanie Miles 

Between 20th-31st July, eight members of the IPA Secretariat took part in the Race to End Homelessness for Crisis, the IPA’s Charity of the Year 2020/21. It is a fantastic event with a simple concept: set yourself a target distance, and get those kilometres in by walking, running or cycling.

Lisa O’Hara (Monitoring Inspector), Nikki Haggis (Membership Secretary) and Stephanie Miles (Events and Marketing Co-Ordinator) did particularly well, clocking up 107, 139 and 151 kilometres respectively. We spoke to Lisa and Stephanie to find out how the event went for them.

A car parked on the side of a road

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Lisa [top] and Stephanie in action!

What inspired you to take part in the Race to End Homelessness?

Lisa: I am inspired by the work Crisis do to help people in dire circumstances and wanted to do what I could to raise money to help them with their fantastic work. I think it is a most worthy and deserving cause.

Stephanie: The achievements made by others in similar races, raising money for Crisis, really inspired me to join in The Race to End Homelessness. It seemed like a good challenge too, one that I could get some sponsorship for.

How did you find it, clocking up all those miles?

Lisa: I’ve always enjoyed walking and do a fair bit having two active dogs. I’ve also done walking type challenges in the past, however I think I underestimated how much I would need to walk every day in order to achieve 100km – even the dogs got tired. I did most of the walking in an evening after 8pm with my sister, pounding the streets. Even my blisters got blisters.

I particularly remember one weekend where it did not stop raining and every time I went out I got soaked, but I could go home to shelter, to get warm and dry. That really made it hit home for me, the things I take for granted. I can only begin to imagine how hard living on the streets must be.

Stephanie: I try to keep quite fit anyway, so I enjoyed the extra workout! I had to complete my final miles abroad though, in intense heat – that made the miles a bit more challenging!

Any highlights from your amazing efforts?

Lisa: I was absolutely thrilled with the amount of sponsorship I received and the messages of support and encouragement. Even in the uncertain times we are living in, people want to help others less fortunate.

Stephanie: I ran my personal best on distance for this race, which I was proud of. Hiking in the Majorcan hills was a highlight also.