It’s been a marathon to get here… and race day is looming!
So it’s official, I’m a marathon bore! I never thought in a million years that I would decide to run a marathon – 26.2 (don’t forget the .2) miles of pounding the streets – but it’s amazing what you can aim for when you put your mind to it!
My marathon journey started in the summer of 2015 when I applied to run for The Christie cancer research hospital in Manchester (also recently voted our Tangerine charity of 2016 – whoop!). After a family member became ill and recovered from cancer last year, The Christie helped us, and I wanted to give back so that other people could have the care and support we had.
By October, my colleagues Jess and Hannah S and I had received the notifications that we had been awarded marathon places – Jess and me for the Manchester marathon, and Hannah the London marathon. We had a mini fist pump moment in the kitchen at Tangerine Towers. Those celebrations lasted about 10 minutes, before we realised what was ahead!
Being a data geek, I wanted to understand how I was running and how I could go faster – I quickly learnt speed and marathon running equal only one thing – injury! So I slowed down, realising it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. A great piece by the lovely Daily Telegraph writer, Jim White, noting his marathon experience and his approach, reassured me I wasn’t alone.
Fast forward to now, and I honestly couldn’t be more proud of us if I tried – we’ve read books about stride and pace. We have had many injuries. Our lovely client SiS has helped to fuel us. I got a Garmin and learnt about cadence and timings. We joined running clubs, made our families run with us and we have literally talked about running to anyone that would listen. We even share a physio!
So, with the Manchester Marathon ahead of Jess and me this weekend (gulp!), it’s important to reflect on where we are and what Sunday will bring.
I’m nervous, yes, but excited, as the past five months have been taken over with running, talking about it, thinking about it and doing it. We are raising money for some incredible charities (links at the bottom of the page – all donations welcome) and, moreover, we have supported each other through injury, training and generally, because we have talked about it so much no-one in the office listens to us anymore.
When I set out on this journey, I wanted to raise some money for an incredible charity, but I think we’d all agree we’ve gained a lot more – we’ve found strength, determination and a little insanity, which has guided us to this point.
As our marathon guru Eddie Izzard said recently during his Sport Relief 27 marathons, in 27 days – ‘If I can run 26 miles every day, anyone can’.
See you at the finish line!
Support Hannah Stirling – https://www.gofundme.com/runforJosh
Support Jess Matthewman – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JessMatthewman
Support Helena Reid – https://www.justgiving.com/Helena-Reid1
By Helena Reid, B2B Associate Director