Judy’s Journey

One of our team, Judy, is running the The London Marathon 2019 – Running for Kids who can’t. Here’s her story:

It all started nearly 20 years ago. I was living in London and the London Marathon was an annual event I always went to watch. I usually knew someone who was taking part, so it made the whole experience even better being able to support someone along the way.

The atmosphere was amazing, and I’d always wondered how it would feel to experience this as a runner.

So, in the year 2000, Millenium year, I applied and luckily got in at my first attempt, even better, my sister got in too, so we completed it together.

I’d never run before, but I was quite fit, and my training started in earnest around Christmas time. It was all gong well until half way through I suffered with a knee problem. Runners knee! It knocked me back quite a bit as I had to stop training for a few weeks. It meant that by race day, mid-April, the furthest I’d run was only 15 miles.

Bearing in mind a marathon is 26.2 miles long, I was aware that I was vastly unprepared. However, I’ve always had a lot of determination and was committed to doing this, so I lined up on the day and somehow managed to complete the gruelling course. I’ll be honest, it was tough, and it took its toll on me but finish it I did in a very respectable time of 5 hours 3 minutes and 25 seconds.

The 16th April 2000 was one of the most challenging days of my life but also one of the most rewarding, and running THE Marathon is one of my proudest achievements. I will always remember the atmosphere at the start, running over Tower Bridge feeling on top of the world and giving a great big hug to my family, faithfully supporting me along the way. The last hour, although the hardest, also went the quickest, the crowd cheering you on is just incredible and there is no feeling quite like seeing that “Finish” Line on The Mall.

Along the way there are lots of wheelchair athletes which is very humbling to see. It’s a hard race for everyone but certainly more challenging for some than others. I felt very proud to be running alongside these incredible athletes.

Ever since taking part in the London Marathon, all those years ago, I have desperately wanted to do it again. I was really nervous about doing it and was worried that I might not finish. I didn’t know what to expect and I think some of these feelings overshadowed my enjoyment of the day a little. Because of this, I just wanted to experience it again so that I would know what to expect and could savour the atmosphere more.

But getting into the London Marathon isn’t that easy, it’s massively oversubscribed and despite trying every year since 2000 I haven’t managed to secure a place through the public ballot. So, I’ve bitten the bullet and decided to take part with a charity place through GetKidsGoing – Running for kids who can’t. This fantastic charity supports children and young people with disabilities by helping them participate in sport. They provide specially adapted wheelchairs and help in other ways, making sport, accessible to everyone.

My pledge for this opportunity to run the marathon is £2,000 which is quite a challenge in itself so over the next few months I am going to be busy. I’ll be sharing updates on a regular basis to show how I am getting on with my journey. Wish me luck. 😊

I have a VirginGiving page, here is a link for anyone who wishes to sponsor me. I also welcome any help with fundraising ideas or activities which will be happening between now and April 2019.

The link to my fundraising page is:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-portal/fundraiserPage?pageId=986345

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