Where: along the river from Waterbeach to Ely and back,When: Saturday, 13 March 2010,
Why: to hit Leukaemia where it is vulnerable.Who: a bunch of sailors, a bunch of runners, their families, their friends.
------------------------------12/01/10 So how did I get involved in this - a note of explanation.
Ten years ago I got about with the aid of a pair of sticks. In 2002, improvement in health developed hand in hand with an obsession with running - the consequence of being more aware of what loss of mobility might mean. Last summer the Great and the Good at Addenbrookes Hospital finally came up with an explanation of the mobility issues with which I had been struggling for over 15 years. While the explanation entitled me to feel smug about being able to run at all, it also had the evil effect of raising into question the point of continuing the struggle to run in the face of what is destined to be a losing battle.
That had to be dealt with. I am not done with running yet. It became necessary to enter a race, of a sufficiently frightening distance so I would be certain to do the training, and at high enough stakes so that giving up was not a decision I would take lightly. Phil is a long-time sailing and running companion now struggling through the nastier parts of chemotherapy against leukaemia. Offering to run London Marathon for the charity of his choice (Leukaemia Research) seemed a very suitable goal.
However, too many people offered to run London for Leukaemia research, and I was not given a place. Not running for Phil was not an option, but few other marathons cater for runners as slow as I am. I decided simply to measure out the distance and run it on my own, and why not along the banks of our own beloved river.
I talked over this plan at the Sailing Club, and the idea caught on like proverbial spark in the flour mill. The result is the Run for Phil. While the dinghies are in the sheds for the winter sailors of all ages have taken to their trainers/boots to get in shape for the event. All hands have volunteered to man the ovens (the club has a reputation for its baking) and the galley has had no trouble recruiting volunteers. We would love to have you join us, however far you do or do not want to run/walk.
I don't often rattle the tin mug. Yes, give lots of money, but even better, come along and enjoy the day. It will be a good party.
Update 30/12/09. Sailors assembled for the traditional Boxing Day "Frostbite Spoon" race. It was great to see Phil and Lynn both there, Phil in great shape in spite of being in the middle of a course of chemo. Charles Lovelace had made an A3 size map of the route, and sailors were crowding round it, discussing how much of the run they might do. The Club has a fine tradition in baking, and the army of volunteers baking cakes for the day will need to be matched by a much larger army of runners and walkers to eat the cakes.Entry forms and information sheets are now available, and can be obtained by contacting Sarah Lovelace at lovelacesarah"at"hotmail.com. Entries are open until 6 March. There is no set entry fee: just empty your bank account on this page, that will do nicely. There will also be a box for a "silent" collection on the day.
My training is going moderately well. I have walked the northbound leg from Waterbeach to Ely, and I have run the southbound leg, Ely to Waterbeach. I am running much more slowly than I could wish, but the main thing is to build up the endurance. Don't care how long it's going to take. I'll get round.
-----------------------11/10 The ball is very definitely rolling. Runners are beginning to ink the date in their diaries and join the team. Phil's just started another chemo round, so an extra reason to go out and pound the paths in a sort of foot prayer that the chemo will do all it is supposed to do and not do all that it is not supposed to do.
_____________________Well, that's one why. The story is a little complicated. Phil and I are sailors at the Cam. We also like to run. We both find it a little difficult just now. Phil's got Leukaemia. I've just been given a name for a long-standing neuromuscular problem that has made running tough. Time to link arms and show two clear and defiant fingers to adversity. In doing so, we may perhaps contribute to the job of making sure other families don't get shredded by Leukaemia.
The first piccie shows Phil and Lynn sailing their Enterprise, Zusammen, on a breezy day at the Cam.The second shows me on top of the dunes near Dunhuang, in China. Quite how this ties in with Phil, sailing, and Leukaemia might become apparent in the coming weeks.
Today, 8 November, 2009, marks the end of the 2009 sailing season at the Cam, and the beginning of the Run for Phil campaign. Sailors coming to put their dinghies in the sheds for the winter left with posters and sponsor forms. The training begins.I will stop by here regularly and update the page. Keep stopping by!
I know an empty donations page looks scary - a bit like the first steps in the first training run leading up to a big event. We can do something about that..
Many many thanks for giving folks. It matters.
Stickless aka Marj_____________
11/10/09 A bit more on photo 2: This was taken during Les Foulees de la Soie, 2001, a running race around China, which I did as a quadruped, with the sticks without which I didn't walk more than a few hundred yards. No one knew why I was having difficulty walking; the default assumption (not entirely tacit) was that at some level I simply didn't want to walk, wasn't trying. Getting about with sticks was tough enough, living with the implicit accusation that being on sticks was worse than my fault, it was my choice, screws up head big-time. Two weeks with the runners on FdlS set the head right at least. To this day, every time I don't pick up my sticks as I go out the door, (every time I go out the door that is) I think of those runners.
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