Several years ago I had this mad idea to run a marathon before I turned 50 – as most of you know I am more of a plodder that spends more time on the injury bench than running.
But the dream has always remained with me, especially as I wanted to raise monies for The Guide Dogs – for those of you who do not know, my Dad became partially sighted whilst working one day. It was back in October 2002 – there were no signs, no warnings – just blackness.
This was a very hard time for my Dad and he eventually had to give up work and sell up my parent's home in London and move away. This also dealt a massive blow to my Dad's self-confidence and he felt that he had been robbed of his retirement and all the things he had planned to do.
Fortunately the wonderful Barnie joined our family in late 2015 and has been by my Dad's side ever since – he turned 5 in January (2019). This has allowed my Dad to find his independence and in the past year he has also taken up Blind Bowls which he enjoys playing once a week. As for Barnie, he is a wonderful dog – so caring and understanding, and also has a fun playful side and is a pleasure to be around.
This experience has given me a real appreciation of the all the hard work that this charity does and I wanted to do something to raise some much needed funds and also to raise awareness.
I had applied for the London ballot on two occasions (once from my sunbed in Jamaica – I blamed it on the rum) but neither time have I been successful. So I thought rather than rely on 3rd time lucky (and also panicked that the days to my 50th birthday were passing fast) I decided to take the bull by the horns and I signed up for the Brighton Marathon (yes there is life outside of London). I have funded this place myself rather than take up a valuable charity slot and I hope to raise as much money as I can for The Guide Dogs.
Not only am I plodding around Brighton, but I have also signed up to walk (very quickly) Beachy Head Marathon in October – now for those of you who know the area, this isn't a walk in the park and there is a time limit to beat – but if you don't try then you can never achieve your dreams. There are also another 48 things on my list to do before my 50th year is complete!!!
This is not going to be easy for me (who says marathon running is) and as I hardly run in 2018 due to a variety of reasons I have more hurdles to clear. Fortunately I did a bit of walking through out 2018 and I have been working very hard on building up my weak areas and sorting out my mind set. Whatever happens on 14th April 2019 I will have tried my best and given it my all. And then I will give it the same oomph on 26th October 2019.
I know everyone asks for sponsorship, and I must admit it does get a bit much on times but if you can find some spare change down the back of the sofa then I will really be grateful for this.
I shall also be running a competition:-
1. Name the Guide Dog Pup – and you could win a Barnie bonus; https://www.facebook.com/notes/sharon-gibson/lucky-pups-can-you-guess-my-name/10156644525906253/
So watch this space for more info https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/slowandproud
In the meantime, Ken/Barnie and I would like to thank you for reading this far and for supporting me in whatever way you can.
Thank you, Sharon