Cancer has affected our family in so many ways already and I shout loud and proud about wanting to support cancer charities and research but it's been a long time since I actually got off my arse and was proactive outside of what I have achieved online. Six weeks ago I made the decision to take part in the Race For Life in Blackburn.
I knew I would never run it because I am not fit enough but at least I had an end goal and this was a great kick up the backside to get myself on the route to better fitness. Over the past few weeks I've been on training walks on the canal near our house and round a few local parks and then my daughter - my own Cancer survivor - asked to join the Race For Life with me. We didn't have a personal best time but estimated that we could complete the course in about 45 minutes.
I never expected the evening to be as emotional as it was. My husband came with us (dog in tow) to support us and the "Moment's Silence" (for those who have passed) and "Moment's Celebration" (for those who have survived) just before the Race For Life started made me well up. And the rest, as they say, is history...
Our Race For Life In Pictures
Our "I Race For Life For..." signs
Mine says, "I RACE FOR LIFE FOR my daughter - diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at 14 months old. SURVIVOR! She is running today! She is now 22 years old."
Rachel's says, "I RACE FOR LIFE FOR Grandad and Chris... RIP"
Team Drama Llama waiting in the "Walkers" section at Race For Life, Blackburn.
Off we go... And we hit 1K in about 10 minutes...
2K and 3K done in another 10 minutes each...
4K done a lot quicker than we thought and then the final 500m sign appears...
The end is in sight so we run the last bit... 42 minutes - RACE FOR LIFE... DONE!
We've added our signs to the remembrance board.
I have to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has already donated on our Just Giving page. We have SMASHED our £500 target but it's never too late to click. You can hit the "Sponsor Me" button below and donate online (or to any other Race For Life 'pot') or you can follow the text instructions below too. Please remember to claim Gift Aid if you pay UK tax.
If you're in the UK and pay tax please do not forget to hit the Gift Aid button - it doesn't cost you any more but ensures that the charity can claim the basic rate tax on every pound donated. Read more here. The text is free through the Vodaphone JustTextGiving service. Read more here. You will be given the option to select Gift Aid in a follow-up text.
This was an extremely well organised local event although more marshals could have been allocated at the furthest part of the walk as the course wasn't clearly marked (especially for us first time participants). Some people were cutting corners and the crowd was following suit.
Even though this was an all-woman event, it was FANTASTIC to see men in the crowd joining in the warm-up and encouraging their female family and friends. It was also very heart-warming to see family and friends lining the route and clapping as we jogged/walked past. The atmosphere on the main field (at 4k) was unreal; there was a huge buzz in the air, with people shouting encouragement and cheering.
When I ran the last 100 meters the adrenalin kicked in and I felt like I could have run for so much longer (I probably couldn't have done) and I felt that 5K Addiction that so many of my friends talk about. It really has spurned me on to want to train harder, faster, longer and to jog the Race For Life next year.
Myself and Rachel also talked about taking my granddaughters along when they are both six years old (in three years time) and making it an annual family event. I hope it would give them an understanding of an important community event and how this type of charity is so important in their lives - in all our lives.
And a couple of extra "Thank You's" to some larger organisations that have made our journey a little easier. To Aqua Pura (one of the main sponsors of the Race For Life) for paying the entry fee for both myself and Rachel and donating £100 to our fund. To SportsShoes.com for providing proper running shoes for me which have ensured that my feet were protected during training. To Zalando for providing some training shoes for Rachel and sports clothes for both of us.