Charity begins…in Yorkshire

Sunday was a fun day. I was rudely awakened at 6:30am (a time I rarely see on a Sunday) before strapping on my running gear and attaching a race number to my shirt. I spent a few minutes wondering how I’d gotten myself into this position.

Several months earlier I’d decided to take on a new challenge. I enjoy keeping fit but I’ve never been any good at running, certainly anything more than a 200m sprint. I blame it on having short legs! But…a good friend of mine was training for a different race and asked me to join him and keep him company during his training. The first few runs were agony, my calves and thighs desperately crying out for the pain to stop for days afterwards. But after a while, things started to ease up and I began to really enjoy getting out and running. There’s something incredibly liberating about seeing your progress from a 10min jog, to a 30min workout, right through to getting comfortable at 10-12K.

So, at 8:45am on Sunday I found myself standing with 9000 other runners, soaked through thanks to an early downpour. Before we knew it the countdown had passed and we were off. The first 3K was a little tricky, trying to find my pace as well as avoid any other people and puddles, but I soon as the runners spaced out, passing the 7K mark I broke into a sprint. The roar of the crowd at the finishing line was like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

I was fairly happy with my time, not a PB but it’s the first time I’ve ever ran with a large group like that so I was glad of the experience. Most importantly, I managed to more than double my target for fundraising, which I donated to Yorkshire Cancer Research.

A few hours later I was back at home, showered, and getting ready to come over to the York Marriott to play for their charity fundraising weekend. The team at the Marriott had already hosted events to raise money for the Variety Club and Marie Curie on the previous two days, and on Sunday had teamed up with Cancer Research UK and the organisers of Race For Life, which took place that day at the racecourse. They had laid on a barbecue, bouncy castles, balloons and face painting; perfect activities to have an excellent day out. What better way to celebrate finishing Race for Life or giving your dad a special Father’s Day. Plus, I was there performing in the gardens! When the sun eventually showed itself, the view out onto the gardens with the racecourse in the background was spectacular.

Congratulations to all the runners of the Leeds 10K and the York Race For Life, for raising so much for such great causes. See you next year!

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