When I finally succumbed to peer pressure and entered my first Half Marathon, I was determined that my discomfort should be turned into a positive. Having lost his beloved daughter, Melissa, to a sudden cardiac death my fellow football coach, Richard Watts, had previously sponsored our sons’ football team in CRY’s name so I wanted to pay this back to Richard, Clare and their family.
Decision made and training started. Stepping up from 5K with a very occasional 10K was going to be a challenge. When you factor in that Hastings is one of the hilliest Half Marathons, that challenge was amplified massively.
The day came and I approached Hastings with nervous confidence. I had family running the same event but as we were all aiming for different finish times, we ran apart from each other.
Some of the initial, short climbs were bad enough but just before 3 miles in we started the long climb. This was 2 miles of uphill gaining over 350ft elevation. From the end of that climb, there were constant up and down until the big descent from 9.2 miles. With legs feeling like lead, the last 2.5 miles along the flat sea front was welcomed but still hard work.
Approaching the finishing “funnel” the clock read 1:57 and a man dressed as the Cat in the Hat, with puppet “Thing 1” and “Thing 2” was all the motivation needed to kick on to the end. Result! Finished in 1:58:56
The support on the day was amazing. For the whole 13.1 miles (don’t forget the .1) there were people handing out Jelly Babies, banging saucepans or simply cheering. At one point, I was struggling and heard “Go Team CRY!” which lifted me. Other notable points was one guy overtaking me downhill and told me “Cracking charity mate! Keep it up” and also a group of electricians with CRY on their shirts too.
Having set my original modest fundraising target at £100, I then got more ambitious having smashed that and aimed at £500. I am so astounded and pleased to say that at the time of writing this up, my page has over £900 donated so I hope this goes some way to helping you meet your targets.
Dave Sharples – Half Marathon Runner