Three years ago, after having had a baby a two year old was before me and I decided to take the plunge and start getting fit again. I knew that I needed a challenge to motivate myself, something I needed to work towards, a challenge.
Running has never been something which came naturally to me so I knew a marathon would be a real challenge. So, in my infinite wisdom and barely able to run a mile I decided to set the ball in motion. Firstly, testing the water with my instructor and new found fitness friends who thought as you would imagined, I'd aimed a little high. But unable to ever back down their realism was seen by me as confirmation that I had found a worth while challenge.
First event was a 10k which wasn't too bad, it was quite a hilly run but I completed it within the hour and I felt I was making good progress. It helped that I had my Dad and younger Sister were there for the ride, although they both finished considerably earlier than I did.
Next stage, a half marathon, again, not too bad, just my father there this time and again he crossed the finish line before me but I did feel a sense of accomplishment especially as I found the first 8 miles fairly good going.
Various injuries occurred, shin splints followed by IT Band, both very painful and would rather forget.
Roll on to Lisbon 2016, time for the dreaded event which I appeared to be running alone, this should have really been a sign, especially given that my Father and Sister are considerably fitter than I am. However, there I was at the start on a beautiful sunny Lisbon morning, feeling excited by the challenge. Surprisingly the first 30 kilometres were happy, I found my pace and was genuinely enjoying the race, however, not long after I 'hit the wall' and from this moment on, it genuinely took everything I had in me to keep going. The next hour was the most challenging of my life and I kept having to remind myself of all the reasons why I was running this race.
One reason in particular was because a very brave friend of mine who has recently been told that her cancer had returned and who takes it so effortlessly in her stride and without gripe or complaint. If she could face her treatment in such a determined and positive way at the age of sixteen, I could do this and then try to raise as much as I could after for teenagers in the same position. She is such an inspiration to us all and behaves in a way in which we would all hope we could given the same situation.
I would like to thank you all; thank you everyone who has supported me to finish the marathon;
Stephen Williams, Elizabeth Williams, Kathryn Williams, Amelia Albertini, Simon Albertini, Gary Jones, Deborah Davies & Mike Davies.
Thank you to you all who have read this article and most importantly thank you to anyone who has decided that my journey was one which deserved sponsoring.