Was it the atmosphere? Was it the months of training? Was it the killer soundtrack? I’d never run 10k in 55minutes before! My wife and son were expecting 1hr 10 -20 and were tracking me on an app. They had to leave their meal and rush out to get a photo of me finishing which they just about managed to do.
I was exhausted but elated. I’d never done anything like this before (except Parkrun on the weekends).
So what was it that was pushing me on so fast?
It was my brother Loz. His sudden death from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 22 in 1988 devastated the family. Though Jan (my younger sister) and I have come to terms with it over the years it has left us with permanent scars, there being no support, counselling or guidance of any kind at the time (I was back at university a week after the funeral)!
Looking at all the runners running for a specific reason, everyone with a story to tell, gave me some sense of belonging to a wider community of remembrance. I even met a couple of other runners from CRY! The palpable sense of emotion was like a wave pushing me on!
After all these years I finally felt I was DOING something about what happened. At the time the sense of helplessness and fear permeated our lives for years. Yes, I did finally get counselling about 20 years after the event and it really did help but I was still left with severe health anxieties….if it could happen to him it could happen to me!
I’m now 56, have had 2 very reassuring consultations with cardiologists, am fitter than I have been in years and a healthy weight too! And still, because I get palpitations sometimes, feel deeply anxious about my heart, but of course we know why!
CRY gave me so much support and encouragement (T-shirt included I might add) with posters, a banner and lovely emails. I had wonderful support from friends and colleagues finally raising £316…..way over what I was hoping for. Their work is massively important and I am so grateful to them for the fantastic work they do. I can only imagine how my family’s lives would have been transformed with their support….my dad saved from a stroke, my mum given the counselling she so desperately needed, my sister and I helped and supported by a lovely community of siblings who would know exactly how we felt! My brother screened and treated and surviving?
So my older brother’s influence was still there. I had always looked up to him. He was my guide, protector, mentor, mate, tormentor (in the way that brothers always are), hero in so many ways. I felt closer to him in that race than I have for years. Yes I cried on the route, it still hurts sometimes but I now know that’s OK.
I ran with Loz but I ran for CRY. You people are now my heroes. If the money raised helps just one family then I really did DO something…..and that is good!