So…. At the beginning of this year (2017), I was looking through my mum’s memory box. I was having a moment and wanted to reflect back on her and all the things that reminded me of her. In the box I found a results slip from the 1987 Mars London Marathon (It was sponsored by Mars back then) some 30 years ago. I have such warm fond memories of my mum taking my sister and I to London, placing us strategically on the kerb of Pall Mall and being told to ‘wait there until I come back and get you!’ so we did! She would run past with just the 385 yards remaining, give us a kiss and run off to the finish line.
My mum was an avid runner and after dabbling in some running myself, it was only then when I saw her finishing time of 3 hours 41 minutes that I realised just how truly amazing she was. At that exact moment, that was it… the London Marathon bug had bitten me! Therefore, I entered the ballot. If my mum could train with two small children plus caring for my dad who was paralysed after suffering a major stroke two years earlier, then I had no excuse.
In October, I waited for my ‘accepted/rejected’ magazine. As expected, I didn’t get in via the ballot. What I did not expect though was to feel such disappointment, my stomach churned at the thought of not being able to do it. I wanted the opportunity to tick this challenge off my bucket list more than ever so I looked through the different charities offering places.
Personally, I didn’t want to run for just any charity. I wanted it to mean something and have significance. I have done work for many charities over the years, almost all related to cancer. I lost my mum to breast cancer in 2007 so know first-hand what it’s like to be part of the cancer journey and to see (and feel) the devastation it causes to the person and families around. 4 years ago, I also saw the very emotional journey of my good friend’s son, Oliver, who was diagnosed with a childhood cancer just before his second birthday. Oliver had over a year's worth of invasive treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and thankfully now 4 years on is in remission. Oliver’s mum, Tiggy wrote a very open and honest blog about the journey they went on;
Now I have two children of my own, Ellis and Zach (Ellis being the same age as Oliver) I knew when I came across the charity, Children
with Cancer UK, it was the right one for me. The very thought of seeing either of my children (or my friends children) go through this desperately tough journey really does frighten me. For that reason, I completed the registration form and waited.
The suspense was too much for me, so I called the charity and asked about the application process. I was desperate to find out when I was likely to hear if I had secured a place. The standard process was to notify the applicants in November so we chatted about what previous fundraising I had done and why I wanted to run for Children with Cancer UK. To my amazement and disbelief, they offered me my place there and then on the phone... I could not believe it and spent the next 24 hours in a daze!
So, this is where my journey begins…. 5 months of winter training, dark nights, cold days. 26 miles and 385 yards, it is daunting, but I cannot wait to get to Greenwich Park on Sunday 22nd April 2018 to take part in the biggest marathon in the world. To hopefully inspire my friends, make my family proud, raise thousands of pounds for charity, but more importantly… make my kids proud so in years to come, they may follow in my footsteps and achieve their dreams.
Phil Robertson, the CwC Lifestyle coach told us all at the recent pre- event meet up that crossing the line would change our lives forever.
I feel my life has already changed just by starting on this journey. The long runs have given me the headspace we all need in today’s busy environments to think about what’s important, my wonderful mum and dad for leading by example and the fab support I’ve had from Carl, my Sister and my brilliant friends for helping me and giving me the encouragement to achieve my dreams.
Thanks for reading and THANK YOU for your sponsorship x
Almost 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. That’s ten every day. Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children’s charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. We fund life-saving research into the causes, prevention and treatment of childhood cancer and we work to protect young lives through essential welfare programmes.