If you’d told me a few years ago I’d be running the London Marathon for a second time this year, I would’ve checked your temperature to make sure you weren’t ill.
I don’t think so!
I’ve always liked to keep fit, but only with light-hearted forms of exercise – swimming, dancing, aerobics, nothing too hardcore, thank you very much.
The agonising cross-country sessions at school, where I trailed behind at the back, struggling to breath, had pretty much scarred me for life.
Or so I thought.
When my dad and his brother – my uncle Pete, were both diagnosed with cancer within a week of each other, I was terrified.
My dad’s was in his kidney. They removed the organ and the nasty disease with it.
But Pete wasn’t so lucky. He had bowel cancer. He fought it with such strength for a long time. But then it finally got the better of him and he died.
It was around this time I figured I needed to do something to acknowledge the good work of Cancer Research UK – who had saved my dad and done their best for Pete.
The Cancer Research UK Race For Life was being held in a park near my home – I knew it would be a massive challenge – but that’s what fundraising is all about, isn’t it?
Well, my first training run was a disaster – I actually didn’t make it to the end of the road before I collapsed in a heap.
But I kept at it – I’m a stubborn one about most things, which always helps.
I started run/walking, and soon enough I was cutting out the walking bit.
I completed the run with my stepmum and had a fantastic day – the atmosphere was amazing.
I know it’s a leap, but from there I decided I needed to do the marathon – to really show my appreciation to Cancer Research UK and raise them some cash.
Whenever the training runs got hard, I thought of my dad and Pete and it was enough to keep me going.
I made it round in five hours last year, and this year I’m back for more.
Illness and an ankle problem mean I haven’t done as much training as I should’ve done, and I know it will be really hard on the day – but that’s when I’ll think of my dad and Pete, and let my stubborn side take over – I WILL make it round again, even if I have to crawl!
Here at Famous Features, we’d love to hear about things that have inspired you do so something; have you lost a loved one and done something in their memory? Tell us about it and get your story into print! We’ll always donate to your charity too if you’d like us to, so get in touch!