Archive | April, 2014

Run Mr Koy!

10 Apr

“…I’m like an Audi when I’m running. Vorsprung Durch Technik”

Chief Executive Koy Thomson is running the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 13th April for Children in Crisis. Here he gives us a little insight into his sometimes dangerous, often bizarre world of running. Enjoy.

Koy started running twenty years ago, when he began working for a humanitarian charity. Koy used running as a means to get to know the regions, where he was working.  “When you are out and about, you get to see how people really live,” says Koy. “Running is a less hostile way to get around.”

So far, Koy has run in the mountains of South Africa, deep snow in the creeks of Washington DC, the polluted squatter settlements in the Philippines, round colonial reservoirs in India, precipitous valleys of the Silk Route in Afghanistan, tropical forest in Brazil, the Atlantic coast in the Gambia, the rift valley in Ethiopia and the training grounds of the great runners in Kenya. There have been times when Koy’s running sessions have had safety hazards that the average runner has not had to undergo.  Koy once ran into a minefield in Afghanistan; “I saw beautiful mountains, when I went up for my morning run.  I hadn’t noticed the painted warning rocks…until I came to a skull and crossbones arrangement in rocks.  I then had to retrace my steps…that was very foolish.” He also killed a snake while running in the Gambia, “there was a neat heel print on its poor crushed head”.  Koy has also been buzz-dived by buzzards guarding nests on a fort in India.

Koy in CBEC 1 Kabul

“Knowing that I can contribute in such a practical way, to the projects run by Children in Crisis makes it all the more personal.” Koy in a Community Based Education Centre, Kabul, Afghanistan

“You don’t have a problem with robbers because you have nothing on you, but someone has stopped me because they wanted my running shoes. I ran off. If he’d had my shoes he might have caught me”   That still hasn’t put him off.

Koy is not your conventional runner. Koy runs barefoot, “I do it because there’s something contrary in my nature. Also I always like re-learning things by using a new technique; un-learning, then re-learning. Also running barefoot is a better, more natural way of running.”

Koy does not have a playlist of inspiring tracks to get him through his next run, or to push forward to a finish line. “When I run, I listen to a metronome.  For me it’s all about the step you are taking.  It’s all in the moment. On the other hand I have all this superfluous electronic gadgetry. I’m like an Audi when I’m running. Vorsprung Durch Technik.”


Koy & Hello Kitty

Koy and his running trainer, Hello Kitty the tortoise.

On average, at 55, Koy runs three times a week, his 16 mile run into the office is sufficent for his fitness regime. “The older I get, my running is more focused. I’m more interested in my technique. These days, I pay more attention to how I run. I listen to my body.”

Koy rarely runs the same route each week. “Running is still a great way of discovering interesting places to go.” Koy has coined a new phrase –‘Jog Tourism’, while on holiday, he uses running to see the main sights of a city and tourist spots.

After much persuasion from his team, Koy will be one of thousands taking part in the 2014 Virgin Money London Marathon. We have seen his sterling efforts training; running into work and slipping out for a run, at lunchtime in the rain. We’ve been gobsmacked as we have witnessed his jaw-dropping protein and carb-filled combinations for breakfast and lunch (falafel for breakfast, baked beans, gnocchi, bagels, scrambled eggs, and smoked salmon, all lavishly layered with hot pepper sauce).

Not only has Koy had to undergo a strict training regime, he has also had the dilemma and angst of running attire. There is a rumour running round the Children in Crisis office, that Mr Thomson may be running as the Children in Crisis pencil, Koy has neither confirmed nor denied this allegation.

Pencil costume

Koy has neither confirmed nor denied if he will be running in the pencil costume.

“Running the Marathon will be a lifetime ambition. I will be spurred on by the crowds who come to cheer me on and the support of those who sponsored me. Running the Marathon has been a lifetime ambition and it will be thrilling. Knowing that I can contribute in such a practical way, to the projects run by Children in Crisis makes it all the more personal.”

The staff, Trustees and friends of Children in Crisis would like to wish Koy all the best for Sunday’s race, many of them will be there to cheer him on and support him. If you would like to show your support for Koy, please make a donation at