The Grizzly is described as "Twentyish muddy, hilly, boggy, beachy miles of the multiest-terrain running experience you will find this side of the end of time."
So...why am I taking part in this madness?
Many of you are aware that my wonderful dad was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer in 2015. He fought courageously for almost 3 years, against all the odds.
Dad passed away peacefully in March 2018, with his family around him, and with heaven in his heart.
Dad was a courageous, patient, funny and caring man with a very deep faith in Jesus. He was always smiling, rarely complained, and endured any hardship with a positive attitude - not just in the final years of his life, but also when flying out to challenging areas of the globe as a missionary, when faced with a multitude of health problems, and when bringing up three lively kids! There's so much I want to say about him, but it's impossible to sum him up in this limited space. He was deeply loved, and I know I speak for everyone who knew him when I say that I am so, so proud of him and I miss him more than words can describe.
Dad has inspired me, and many others, to stay positive even when things are tough. I'm running the Grizzly because it's definitely going to be tough- the only time I've ever run this far was about 6 years ago, when I was much younger and fitter (!). The furthest I've run in muddy conditions since then is about 10 miles, and that was hard (understatement?). This is double that, and has many more hills - so it's going to be interesting!
My husband's father managed to bag Ollie and I two "complimentary" places in the Grizzly, so it's not costing us anything. I therefore want to use this opportunity to raise money for two incredible charities that meant a lot to my dad, and also to my amazing mum who never left his side.
Dad was absolutely committed to his work with Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF is an inspiring Christian organisation that uses light aircraft to deliver thousands of aid, relief and mission projects in really remote places around the globe. MAF wrote a really lovely tribute to my dad shortly after he passed away, which you can read here: https://www.maf-uk.org/news/with-gratitude-we-remember-larry-heintz
The Brain Tumour Charity
The Brain Tumour Charity is a UK-based charity dedicated to funding research, raising awareness of brain tumours, reducing diagnosis times and providing support and information for people with a brain tumours and their families. When dad was diagnosed in 2015, he was given 6 months to live - but he responded well to treatment, and prayers, and against the odds he was still going strong until December 2018. Organisations such as TBTC make it possible for the right research to be carried out and effective treatment to be developed, so that the diagnosis of a brain tumour is no longer a death sentence.
I'd like to raise at least £750 for both The Brain Tumour Charity and MAF. It's not much, but every little bit makes a difference, and I would be sincerely grateful for any small amount you're able to give.