This Sunday is forecast to be the hottest London Marathon on record. Fun.
I’ll be one of the 40,000 runners taking on the route, and I’m really bloody nervous.
After months of training, I’ve started to ask myself why I ever agreed to do it in the first place – but the answer really is very simple.
Last summer, one of my best friend’s mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer. During a late night train journey, as we ranted about the injustice of it all, we both decided to do something to fight back. We signed up to run the London Marathon and I pledged to raise £2,500 for Macmillan. An incredible charity that helps fill that vital gap between medical, emotional and practical support.
A few months later, another of my closest friend’s mum was also diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the painful months since last summer, both of my friends have lost their amazing, generous, loving and courageous mums.
This only spurred me on. To endure the monumental training plan, through wind, rain and snow, was nothing compared to the pain my friends were feeling. I had to keep going.
This also kept me going every time I planned another fundraising event – from selling pancakes to curries to helping organise a pub quiz, or simply spreading my JustGiving link as far and wide as possible.
The generosity of people has been amazing. It’s daunting to hit a target, but with fundraising in my blood I started early, talked about what I was doing, and most importantly why. Giving a donation was their way of making a difference, and so many did.
The more they gave, the more determined I was to train harder and keep going. Your legs get stronger, and you start to run distances you never thought possible.
It’s at this point that I’m starting to power myself up, I’m full of determination, I’ve done all the training, I’ve looked after myself – I’ve even got a jar of vaseline at the ready (although I’m not 100% sure what I’m supposed to do with it).
This Sunday, I’ll have my friend’s mums, Paula and Julie, in my mind, I’ll have my own mum, I’ll have my amazing mother-in-law, I’ll remember how lucky I am, and how I’d do anything for them. Even run a silly distance in the heat.
Here’s to inspiring mums, and what they make us do. And here’s to those other incredible people, those who dug deep and donated what they could
Come and cheer everyone on this Sunday, we’re going to need it. Warning though – this might get emotional.
Be an awesome human too, donate here.
Find me on the London Marathon App by searching Liz Black or Runner number 42361