On 30th September 2001 there were no running selfies and no happy snaps of me crossing the finish line – I attempted my first marathon and I was a DNF.
But that was not the end of my marathon story … it was just the start!
I went home dejected but not beaten. I wanted to be a marathon runner, so I kept working at it.
I entered the London marathon 6 months later (yeah there was a time when it was actually easy to get in ?).
I kept up my training and on 14th April 2002, I crossed my first marathon finish line.
Fast forward to last September 24th 2017 which are these photos.
This was my 29th marathon in 29 days as part of my #63in63 challenge.
I was pretty confident that I was going to finally nail my nemesis ‘the Nottingham Marathon’ and I did!
All those years ago I could have given up, I’d proven that at that point in time I was not a marathon runner.
It was just a point in time.
I didn’t give up.
Instead I chose to believe in myself and believe that I could still become a marathon runner.
I chose to get better at the thing I was not particularly good at … at first attempt.
On this same day I was also privileged to run with my friend and my reason for attempting the 63 marathons – Dirk Vervoorts.
My friend Dirk has Huntington’s Disease … it’s a degenerative disease that is destroying his brain and impacts, amongst other things, his balance and coordination.
When we set off on Day 29, it was Dirk’s intention to get to the halfway mark and finish off for the day. He hadn’t ran more than 16 miles in the past year, but at that point he chose to kick on.
Despite being extremely tired, under-trained and even stumbling and falling, Dirk picked himself off, dusted himself off, laughed and joked and ran/shuffled/stumbled/had-a-cigarette-on-the-homestretch (not something I particularly recommend) his way to the 26.2 mile finish line.
Running has taught me time and time again that I am strong, that I am determined, that I can! Which is why I promote it with all of my heart.
And on this day I also earned that taking opportunities whilst we still can is definitely worth every bit of effort you put in.
Thank you Dirk x
P.S. My just giving page is still open and I am still raising money for Huntington’s Disease Association (HDA) in a hope that they will find a cure for this killer disease.