Last Sunday (Mother's Day), myself and fellow News Associates-trained journalist Dan McKeown completed Silverstone’s Adidas Half Marathon for our chosen charity, Amnesty International. Dan manfully ran for nine Nicaraguan women, while I was representing Ferhat, a Turkish lad who was shot by Police and is now paralyzed from the waste down.
My Just Giving page is www.justgiving.com/nickgrounds
while Dan’s can be found at www.justgiving.com/dangmckeown-amnesty
So far, myself and Dan have raised an amicable sum, both in the region of £200 each. My target is £400, and I would very much like to reach it and, if possible, surpass it. Dan will also be running both the Sheffield and Coventry half marathons in April and May respectively, so credit him where credits due.
I had never ran a long-distance race before, and I have to admit, I enjoyed every minute of it. The adrenaline at the start and the pain-free opening miles where runners bounce around the circuit exchanging pleasantries (or in my case chirp out melodies from my iPod - Blondie’s Heart of glass and Abba's 'knowing me, knowing you...SAHA!!' in-house remix) were particular highlights.
Yes there are times where you feel like packing it in, but that’s the challenge you are facing. Despite putting the hours in around Highbury Fields and in the gym, nothing prepares you for the real thing – other than experience. Now I have one under the belt, I hope to do many more halves.
A massive shout out has to go to the organizers at Silverstone, who got it spot on. There were regular water stops along the way, with two much-needed Lucozade ones. At the end, where I felt as though I wanted the world to swallow me up, they provided a goody bag of treats: more Lucozade, a yazoo chocolate milkshake (which I believe is still curdling with the said Lucozade), an energy-boosting bar, and a limited edition Ricola sweet, which went down very well with the mother.
Dan completed the course in a very impressive 1hour42mins58secs, while I hit 1hour47mins17secs, which I was quite pleased with – considering I went for a one-minute pit stop at mile 10 for a ‘number two’.
Much love to all those who have sponsored us thus far. It is for a worthy cause, and your gratitude has not gone unnoticed, and is greatly appreciated.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll enroll onto a full marathon, joining illustrious names such as Radcliffe, Yelling, Selassie and McKeown – who yesterday announced, pint of Guiness in hand, that he’s attempting the Loch Ness Marathon. Running bug indeed…