So, this all started for me around November 2019. I’m one of the Directors at Longworth Building Services and as a board we decided that we would focus our fund-raising efforts into a single cause for 2020 – Alder Hey Children’s Charity.
Alder Hey Children’s Charity raises vital funds to help make Alder Hey Children’s Hospital a truly world-class, patient-friendly hospital for the 330,000 patients and families they care for every year. Some of their great work and stories can be found on their website HERE.
I have personal experience of how traumatic it can be for parents and siblings of sick children. My Brother Andrew spent time in Francis House Children’s Hospice between the age of 5 to 10 prior to him sadly passing away. I know that staff in Hospices and Hospitals do an amazing job but face a daily battle to make Childrens lives more comfortable and enjoyable during difficult times. Andrew is my inspiration and Alder Hey Childrens Charity is now my motivation to raise as much money as possible.
The charity itself organises many fantastic events that you can get involved in throughout the year, such as skydiving, dragon boat racing, pyjama days, etc. which a lot of our staff are partaking in, but I wanted to do something of my own to really challenge myself. That was running. After some thought I came up with the suggestion that I would commit to running a 10km race every month throughout 2020. Once I said it there was no going back!
The last time I had done any kind of running was over 3 years ago in the Manchester Run. To say I thought my running days were over would be an understatement and my fitness regime reflected that. My weekly exercise routine consisted of mainly weightlifting and next to no cardio, which isn’t exactly ideal for running, as I was about to find out.
I set about training in Mid-November, starting out with a 3km run around my local area. It was a struggle to say the least, but I knew I had to stick with it. My knees, calves and ankles were sore for about a week after (everyone in the office has commented on my limping and hobbling) but I pleased I’d started and couldn’t wait to get out again. Gradually as I started to get out more and run further, my body has adapted, and I’m now pain free. Practice runs have got longer and faster.
Confident that I was now up to the challenge, prior to my first RunThough event I’d set myself three personal goals to achieve along the way –
- Every 10km completed in less than an hour
- Each 10km would be quicker than the last
- To run 10km in under 50 minutes.
Heaton Park RunThrough was my first event and it was fantastically organised from start to finish really. The stewards, warm up, camaraderie and post run supplements made the day. It certainly helped to get through the elevation of the course. The calves were extremely sore for the following few days!
In February I completed Tatton Park RunThrough, in a quicker time than my last (by 25 seconds). Again, the organisation and determination from the team to keep the run on, even during the extreme conditions of Strom Ciara was a credit to everyone involved. The atmosphere was great.
My next RunThrough event is in March around the Etihad Stadium which has a special place in my heart being a Manchester City Fan. I’m also looking forward to a flat course and hopefully some good weather, which is something I am yet to experience!
For anyone wanting to donate to a fantastic charity, my just giving page can be found HERE.