We were three miles in and I really didn’t want to go on. There was the very real possibility that my breakfast porridge would make a swift re-appearance along with half a cup of tea, a swig of orange juice and a part-digested marzipan ball.
I had unfinished business with the Ravenscar Half Marathon, last year was my first last place and I was determined that wouldn’t be repeated. But it wasn’t looking good. I’d seriously contemplated swapping for the less gruelling 10km, actually, it even crossed my mind that I could just stay in bed and sleep the whole day. But people were relying on me and I couldn’t let them down. Plus Noel would have been miffed to drive all that way on his own to run a race that I’d signed him up for.
Noel and I had pledged to run this undulating course in aid of the charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a charity we have supported for many years. We’ve not fund-raised before because it seems a bit cheeky to ask our friends and fellow runners to give money for us to enjoy ourselves. When I say enjoy, I mean enjoy afterwards, basking in the glow of achievement.
MSF asked us as supporters if we’d like to take part in their 10km event down in that there London. We contemplated it, but it would have cost us much more than we could raise to get down there, stay in a reasonably-priced hotel and share a slice of pizza. So we asked if we could buy a couple of the vests and run something up north.
So nausea or not, I just had to finish that run. People had been very generous, sent special wishes and generally supported us, we were quite overwhelmed.
Then there was my lovely friend Jill. We’ve been through a lot together, Jill and I, including the same race last year. She’d just run her first ever marathon, which was that little event down in that there London, so she was all trained up and ready to run Ravenscar. And there I was, green around the gills, wanting to throw up and give up. But thanks to her excellent company and encouragement, one foot kept going in front of the other, the miles passed, some quicker than others and we finished. What’s more, we weren’t last. Granted, we were nearly last, but not THE last. And my breakfast stayed where it belonged.
So we did it, and we raised more than £200 for the wonderful MSF. We ran with friends, we made new friends and we’ll be back next year when I most definitely will not be last. Thank you, friends, for your generosity.Thank you.