Such a huge, surge of emotions and memories still surfacing from yesterday. On so many levels, the whole day proved to be inspiring-hearing everyone telling their story as to why they were taking part, as we each walked along the course.
Before the marathon even started, one of the organizers told us that the route was extremely challenging, and as such, we needed to look out for each other. And that’s exactly what took place throughout the day. I saw numerous examples of people helping each other to the finishing line-not least the girl ( Louise ) who helped me personally with my heat stroke, and who walked with me for the last few miles.
When we discuss how powerless we all are, when we are faced with the shock of losing somebody-taking part in events like this doesn’t of course bring our loved ones back. But, it’s about trying to do something to help-however small that is, in the face of that loss, and sometimes that’s all we need-some small measure, to help us to cope.
For me, I needed to do this, for my Grandparents who both died of cancer, so just wanted to thank everyone who helped me to do this, by either sponsoring me, or simply putting up with me boring them to death about this marathon for the last few months
I’ve been wanting to complete a marathon for quite some time, but it had to be the right one, so after about a year of exploring different options, I finally signed up to the Cotswold Way Mighty Hike, containing a section of the National Trail starting from Wotton-under-Edge in Gloucestershire where the route then followed the Cotswold Way escarpment before finally descending to the World Heritage Site of Bath and finishing in front of Bath’s famous Royal Crescent 26 miles later.
I had spent the previous 3 months diligently training for the event, culminating in a least two 23 mile training sessions on the final week, and was quietly confident of being successful when I arrived at the starting location on a cold, misty morning just before 7am for registration to commence. Being one of the first people to arrive I was given a yellow wristband which placed me in the first pen. After a brief warm up session involving a laughably bad attempt from me at Zumba, there was a countdown, before the ribbon holding us into the pen was pulled free and finally on Saturday 23rd July at about 8am I started out on my first ever marathon.
It was a really well organised event, with volunteers from both Action challenge and Macmillan themselves marshalling and accompanying us on the walk itself.
Despite, a worrying episode towards the end, where I was having dizzy spells, and had to sit down for nearly 40 minutes just after the 25th mile, to rehydrate and get some rest, I finished 182nd out of 376 finishers (At least 50 dropped out during the event ) with a time of 10 hrs 43 minutes and 55 seconds, while at the same time, managed to raise a total of £332.50 for Macmillan Cancer Support