30 before 30 - progress · Sports

1. Run a Half Marathon

I can’t believe I’m writing this post, as it still seems so surreal that I’ve completed this item on my list!!

It’s been an interesting journey from sporadic exerciser to proper runner, but I think that I would definitely call myself a runner now, and I’m so proud of that! I knew that I wouldn’t commit to the training along the way unless I had some short-term goals, so I signed up to plenty of 10k races, as well as the odd 1 mile, 5k and 10 milers, weekly ParkRun wherever possible, and even a 10k walk with my Mum. The good thing about this was not only that it gave me the motivation I needed, but it also gave me a lot of shiny medals to hang in my bedroom:

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Here’s a few photos from some of the races I’ve done. There’s been a few that I’d definitely recommend for next year, such as my local 10k Race the Neighbours, anything by the fantastically friendly The Race Organiser team, and the completely free Vitality Westminster Mile, which is especially notable for its wonderful Olympic veterans mile, where ex-Olympians run in their kit, with walking sticks and zimmer frames, play hockey, whatever helps them get round the course!

I’d originally decided to run a half marathon just as a personal challenge, but my uncle sadly passed away this summer and I decided to run Richmond Half Marathon in his memory, to raise money for the mental health charity Mind, who do such fantastic work. Thanks to your generosity I completely smashed my fundraising total and raised well over £1,200 – which means the absolute world to my family and me. I had a number of running-related injuries in the weeks leading up to the race, and pulled muscles that I genuinely didn’t know existed!! However, I got round the course in what I think is an entirely respectable 2h04min and now I am desperate to run another! It was great fun and the course was beautiful, starting in Kew Gardens, going past Hampton Court Palace (not that I knew what that was, being the world’s most ignorant person) and ending.. er… somewhere else in Richmond! Mum and Jane were there at the finish line and I might have added an extra 30 secs or so to my finish time by being so over-excited to see them that I had to stop and give them a hug!!

Next step: join a running club – watch this step, Mo Farah, I’m coming for you!!

Thank you once again for your sponsorship guys, you are THE BEST!!! xxxxxx

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