I haven’t always been a runner.
My Dad was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome in September 2009, and he spent the following two months in hospital trying to fight this off. Sadly, juts before his 61st birthday, and before he was due to come home to recuperate, he suffered a heart attack and passed away.
Myself, my family and friends had never heard of this syndrome before this happened, and it is clear that there is still relatively little known about it. We had also not heard of GAIN at this time, but after deciding to run the Bath Half Marathon for a charity, and researching causes close to my heart, there was really no question as to who I wanted to raise money for. If money I have raised can help towards research into this illness, or provide support for families going through what we went through, then it will provide comfort to me and my family.
I started my training in January of this year, and mainly just went running by myself near to where I live. I set up my JustGiving page which was shared by my family and friends on Facebook and Twitter, and I was amazed to see my target of £500.00 broken within 5 days of setting up the page! In February, my training had to change track as I developed shin splints from too much running, so in the run up to the race I was only able to use the bikes and the cross trainer in the gym. It certainly didn’t help my confidence in my ability to complete it!
The Bath Half Marathon took place on Sunday 2nd March. Over 12,000 runners took place in the race; and over the course of the 13.1 mile route, there were over 30,000 spectators, which was amazing considering that the weather was awful. This created atmosphere, and really helped me to get round in a time of 2 hours 22 minutes which I was over the moon with. I had my own t-shirt made, complete with my name on the front and back – this I would highly recommend as I ended up having thousands of people cheering me on as I ran past. It was a fantastic experience, made even better for knowing that I was running for such a worthy cause. Overall, I managed to raise £1,120.96 for GAIN and at the same time, raised awareness for the charity and illness itself.