2015 is looking like another year which is set to fly by before I have time to draw breath and already we’re into March and the last month of the financial year. The speed with which the weeks are passing has lead to me being a little lax with blog posts of late and indeed this post is one which I have been composing in my head for the best part of a fortnight; but even worse than me being a little lazy with my writing I’ve also realised that I have failed to properly mention one of the most important challenges of my life to date – my upcoming marathon!
Those of you who have been reading my blog since the beginning (or enjoy plowing through the archives) may remember that nearly 2 years ago I applied to run in the 2014 London Marathon, and whilst I did not get past the ballot stage I managed to maintain a relatively high level of cardio activity by running regularly around Enfield and it’s surrounding areas. I had intended to apply again last April after seeing the 2014 event on TV and speaking to a colleague at work who took part, but having missed the ballot I decided just to go for broke and enter the 2015 Brighton Marathon instead which takes place a week before the London event, this year on April 12th.
Despite my long association with Brighton (my Mum’s side of the family was/is from the south coast city) I had only taken notice of the marathon there in the last couple of years, although admittedly it has only been ‘running’ since 2010! Still in 2014 my Mum’s cousin’s son (so my first cousin once removed?) took part and when visiting my great aunt she was full of praise for the event and spoke about the ease for spectators to see the runners at multiple points of the race. The course itself starts very close to where my Nan used to live in Preston Park, loops around the centre of town and near the iconic Pavilion then goes all the way out past the Marina to Rottingdean. Then I and the other runners will head back along the seafront all the way up to Hove, then past there out to Shoreham-by-Sea before heading back to the finish line at the Brighton Palace Pier. The popularity of the Brighton Marathon has continued to grow year-on-year and thanks to it’s high level of local support and relatively easy entry code it is supposed to be one of the best marathons for those running their first one, with relatively few hills and a healthy dose of sea air to boot!
Given that I’ve not given too much mention to the fact I’m running a marathon in less than 6 weeks it means I’ve also completely neglected to talk about any of the running I’ve been doing in the lead up to the big day. At the start of the year the farthest I’d ran was 10 miles and even then that was just the once, but relatively quickly I’ve gotten into a routine which involves a long run on a Sunday morning and sometimes a shorter run in the week. I’m now up to having run 18 miles by myself even though I’ve had a couple of set backs in terms of muscle pain and paranoia I’m doing some serious damage! By no means am I about to set the world alight with my pace but given that a large portion of my route is hills my average of 8.36 mins per mile is not awful and should give me a marathon time under the magic 4 hour mark…something I’d be very happy with.
So this brings me to the awkward part of the post, indeed any post which involves events like marathons…fundraising and sponsorship. Now I’m not holding out much hope at all that I’ll get much response given how donations aren’t the focal point of this post nor is it a blog which focuses on much else besides the auto industry, but I’d be doing myself and the charity I’m raising money for a disservice if I failed to mention it and provide a way for those who want to donate to do so.
Pancreatic Cancer UK is a charity whose cause means a lot to me given that is the form of the disease which caused the death of my Dad in 2006 and pancreatic cancer remains one of the deadliest with a survival rate of less than 5% surviving over 5 years since initial diagnosis. Despite this and the large number of deaths which it causes the research into pancreatic cancer is depressingly low and under 1% of cancer research funding is directed at it. My dad died less than a year after he was diagnosed and a colleague at work who started treatment just under a year ago looked extremely frail when I saw her at the weekend; giving patients some extra time to spend with family and friends or even just making life more comfortable is all anyone deserves and hopefully by raising a little money for the cause I can help to a certain extent. The link to my justgiving donation page is this:
Also a girl I know from school is running the London Marathon for the same cause, she is actually a researcher who is funded by Pancreatic Cancer UK to help find a cure for the disease, her page is just as worthy as mine and if anyone’s feeling extra generous I’m sure she’d appreciate the support as much as I do.