Running for my brother07/11/2010
On Sunday 26th September Louise Evans, Catherine Evans, Michelle McWilliam, Laura Burton and Kathryn Curt all took part in Run to Beat, a half marathon around Greenwich.
It’s 6am, and my alarm yanks me unpleasantly into the waking world. Today is the day. All the training, all the worrying, all the nerves and anxiety over the past six months, have led to this moment. This is the day I run a half marathon.
Having never run more than 3 miles in my life, I decided to run this half marathon for my brother. In Autumn 2007 I went running with Patrick. We kept meaning to run together again but we never got round to it – there was always something else to do, or somewhere else to be. My trainers ended up at bottom of my wardrobe. And now I will never see him, talk to him, let alone run with him, ever again.
Since we established ‘The Foundation’ in February, I have been overwhelmed by the amount of impressive fundraising activities taking place in Patrick’s name. I felt helpless- I didn’t know what I could do that would be as challenging. It was Michelle McWilliam, one of my University friends (a Birmingham Politics Graduate just like Patrick), who came up with the idea of taking part in ‘Run to the Beat’. I would like to say that, despite cursing her many times since March, I am very grateful for her idea and for encouraging me to achieve something I would have never considered possible!
Getting to the start of the race was an ordeal in itself. Problems on the tube meant that I arrived at the 02 late, hot, sweaty and on the harassed side. Due to the tube problems, the organisers then decided to delay the start time. By this point we were standing in shorts and tshirts in gale force winds. It was freezing. And we waited and waited. When eventually the race started at 10.30, there were so many people that we didn’t even cross the start line until after 11. By this point we all felt as if the muscles in our legs had frozen solid, and breakfast was a distant memory. A good start!
We never lost sight of each other throughout which was a huge support to me. Running together Laura and I made a friend, who told us that she was using us as her pacemakers to keep her on track. It was a responsibility I wasn’t sure I had signed up for! My mum ran with Kat whilst Michelle and her friend passed by chatting and laughing together. In spite of the enormous number of people running, my Mum met an old school friend of my Dads (Rory’s Godfather!) and was overtaken by one of Hugo’s friend’s mums!
For all of us this was the furthest we had ever run and for most of us, it was our first race. There is no shame is saying there were times we found it VERY hard. Laura and I had a considerable dip when on our tenth mile we missed the marker. Therefore, the tenth mile felt like it went on forever and ever.
I would like to say a special thankyou to my Mum, who spent 21 years running around after Patrick and many of those years reminding him not to leave his massive trainers lying in the middle of the hall tripping us all up. Mum spent all summer training and increasing her mileage and did the half marathon in an incredible time of 2 hours, 14 minutes and 34 seconds, without stopping once. Her focus and determination has been motivation in the times when I regretted my decision and felt I would never be able to do any further than 5 miles.
“At the half way point there was a band playing and I was feeling pretty sluggish, Kat turned to me and said ‘Paddy really loved this track.’ That did it, I have no idea what the track was (Kat might remember) but it gave me a real boost at a difficult time.” Catherine Evans, September 2010
I know that all of us would like to say a special thankyou to all of our dedicated supporters, who stood out in their Foundation hoodies and tshirts, making more noise than all the bands put together. They walked miles themselves making sure they could cheer us on in as many places as possible – in particular at the top of a rather nasty hill. So thankyou. We couldn’t have got round without you!
17,000 participants, 16 loyal supporters, 13 miles, 5 runners, 2 hours 13 minutes 26 seconds and One Beautiful Boy, whose two trainers still lie just inside the door where he left them. Our half marathon was over.
You can still sponsor us:
Michelle Mcwilliam 1 hour 58 minutes
Louise Evans 2 hours 13 minutes and 26 seconds
Laura Burton 2 hours 14 minutes and 33 seconds
Catherine Evans 2 hours 14 minutes and 34 seconds
Kat Curt 2 hours 17 minutes and 34 seconds