Never Give Up!

I’m standing at the start line to Oakley 20 and there are approximately over 800 runners in front of me. My heart is pounding, and my head is saying “I can do this, it’s just 4 x 5-miles.”  What I wasn’t expecting was I needed the loo. Was it nerves, or did I really need to go.

There’s movement ahead and the race has started, a few minutes later we cross over the start line. Stay focused and don’t think about the loo, you’ll be fine!

About a mile into the race I met up with a guy called Tony who had travelled from Newmarket. I asked him how he got into running. He started running 2.5 years ago, gave up smoking 40-cigarettes a day and lost over 6-stone in weight. Pretty impressive! To celebrate his new life, he entered the London Marathon ballot and got a place. That’s why he was running the Oakley 20.

Listening and chatting the miles ticked by and before we knew it we had run 12-miles. At that point I was absolutely desperate for the loo, which was just in sight. Never have I been so relieved, in more ways than one!

Just 8-miles to go and Tony and I are still running together. The last 4-miles were  particularly hard. Tony’s quads were tightening up and for some reason my left knee (which never hurts) started to complain, so did my hamstring and glute. Not now, please!

I stopped to walk, as did Tony, but walking made my knee feel worse. I encouraged Tony to continue with me, but it was too much for him. I ran the last 2-miles with Laura (zero to hero) who was just in front of me.

That last mile of the race I so wanted to give up, as my knee felt very sore. How can I take my mind off the pain? I know I’ll sing “If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands.” What??? That’s what popped into my head and funnily enough it reminded me of when my children were little.

As I turn the corner all I could see was a sea of green sweatshirts shouting my name. Suddenly I grew another foot (excuse the pun) and had a spring in my step. The energy that came from the Redway supporters was so uplifting. I crossed the finishing line and felt immensely happy with my achievement.

My reward for running 20-miles was a canary yellow sweatshirt, really?? Orange yes, yellow no!

Below is a photo of the Zero to Hero’s wearing the sweatshirt:

Zero to Hero's
Oakley 20

“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”

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