Monday, 12 May 2008

Running for Life

Saturday May 10th. We've trained and trained to get this far. All our hard work done, now is the time to put it to the test. As we made our way to the main field, the sight of all these women, from very young through to older ones, wearing various outfits of fancy dress, was a picture. The local radio station blasts out music to jeer the crowds on. Ice cream vans scatter the edge of the field, queues of desperately hot and hungry crowds battle for the burger vans. Portable toilets for the last minute nerves.. of which there was alot. The atmosphere was amazing. So many people running or walking to raise much needed cash for cancer research, promising us that together we can find a cure! I hope one day soon we do find a cure for this horrible disease. We arrive in time for a warm up, and on the stage are four young men/lads with pom poms , wearing black t-shirts and shorts-shouting words to a song, I don't know if they realise just how funny they look but it is after all for a good cause.They made us laugh. We stand together in strength, our running numbers on the front of our t-shirts. The reason for our just cause on the back of our t-shirts, mine said in bold silver writing... 'For my best friend.. Anita.' Every one had some one close who'd either died of cancer or had the disease and recovered from it. I was running for my best friend that day and I'm pretty sure she was with me. I kissed her photo before I left the house and told her to look out for me, I had a strong feeling she was listening that day. The time was ticking on, and every one was getting ready to run. The elite athletes were at the front of the starting line. I wanted to join them, but I knew in my heart of hearts that I wasn't ready to sprint, not in this heat anyway. I forgot to wear my peak cap, my head taking the brunt of the sunshine. What a gorgeous day for a 'fun' run. I can't remember the last time I sweat so much! The crowds gathered at the start line and the crowd counted down from ten to 1 and start, the gun went off, and the race had begun. The atmosphere was electric. We started off slowly, the grass below was green and lush. The route had changed since I had done it in previous years, with a few added steep hills to get up, which we took in our stride. The scenery was breath taking, and the route strewn with clapping on lookers beckoning us to do well. We ran with all that we had to give. I had time to read some of the reasons for running, on the shirts of the athletes in front of me, one was for two people who had died of it, some body's relative and herself who had survived the illness and recovered enough to actually take part herself, which I thought was goal in itself... truly wonderful. I was by this time starting to get slightly emotional. The sweat was running of my face, the sting of salt seeping into my skin and the burn in my calf muscles as we staggered up the hill. As we neared the finish line, Marshall's with fluorescent waist coats shouted us on even more, praising us for doing so well. With the crowds clapping and shouting. the last descent down the grassy bank was ever closer to the finish line. When I could see the finish line in view I mustered up all my energy and made a final sprint. Stitch in my lungs and cramps in my thighs I gave it all I got. And even now as I type it up, I can feel tears welling in my eyes. It was a very HOT sunny day, not ideal weather for running, but I'd have done it if it was deep in snow! Nothing would've stopped me from taking part. I nearly collapsed as I ran over the finish, relieved to have done, extremely proud to have had the opportunity to take part and help raise much needed monies. My friend did extremely well to have kept up with me, as my legs are slightly longer! Every one who took part has my admiration.. From those that organised it to those who completed it.. A day to remember.


Bollinger Byrd said...

last year I walked 10 miles for breast cancer, it was an effort as although I'd trained some before it, I'd not got all my strength back after my mastectomy. But it felt so good to do it. To be amongst all those women who were doing it for their own reasons. A guardian angel from Scotland ended up beside me, and without her supportI don't think I'd have done it. So well done you,

Indigo said...

WELL DONE you bollinger byrd. It does fill you with euphoria knowing we've competed in something that will hopefully make one hell of a difference toward getting a cure for cancer. I think we all have a guardian angel and need one~x~