I started running in memory of my Mum in 2004 when Race for Life started in my town. I had always struggled with Athletics as a child and my confidence was low when it came to running with others. Although I had run with a few groups previously, I felt like I never fitted in, so I went back to solo running, as and when I could get out. I would do a few events a year, mainly 5 and 10k and then in 2012 I did my 1st and local Half Marathon. I never thought I would run this far, let alone further.
I decided to fundraise for The 401 Foundation because I wanted to give back and help raise awareness. I had the pleasure of running with Ben many times in the latter stages of The 401 Challenge. I immediately felt included and a sense of belonging, from the moment I rocked up to Bristol with my Dad in tow (for moral support at the start). For the first time, I felt I could run with others, at my pace and my own way.
I decided to do a Marathon (without The 401 Challenge, I would not even have thought this possible) and fundraise for The 401 Foundation. Often when I tell family and friends which run I am doing, they ask “which charity?” so I just set up a fundraising page for those who want to donate. I struggle to ask people for sponsorship so find this method perfect. I never have a target as I feel any money raised will help the charity. Every penny counts.
I gained so much more than just physical fitness, running with, and for The 401. I have gained so much more confidence in everything I do. I’m doing things I never thought possible, which in turn helps me when I come across something new. I have met so many friends through The 401 Events and other races that support and encourage me.
The 401 Team are all so friendly and approachable and always there to help us.