Everyone has their own reason behind taking part in a challenge event for Ovarian Cancer Action. As Drew reflects on his Great North Run experience, and Amanda gears up to take on the Royal Parks Half Marathon, they both share their stories…Amanda’s story
"Stick your trainers on and go! That’s why I adore running. It’s accessible, therapeutic and extremely rewarding – especially if you’re running for a charity like Ovarian Cancer Action.
This year marks the first time I’ll attempt the Royal Parks Half Marathon. My second half marathon (and my fifth ever run) for Ovarian Cancer Action.
The charity plays a big part in overcoming the difficulties I sometimes face on race day. I remember hitting mile 11 in the Windsor Half and thinking, ‘there’s no way I can finish this, look at that hill!’ But it’s at that point that I remember how little my pain is compared to the physical and mental struggles of those suffering with ovarian cancer go through, including my Nana.
Running the Royal Parks this October is not only a personal goal, it’s to be part of a movement with OCA. A movement to fight and hopefully cure a disease that affects so many people’s lives and families at all different stages of life. That hill at mile 11? Well, it’s done, I did it, knowing that the money I raised from donations will bring real change to women’s lives. And personally? There’s no better feeling."
"Great North Run 2017: Been there, done that, got the t-shirt, (and medal and sore legs!), to prove it.
After a few days of rest and contemplation the day seems so surreal, especially as I recorded it on the telly and have started to watch it back. It was a 6am start for my wife Steph, son Finlay (6) and daughter Phoebe (4), as we need to get a transfer bus into Newcastle. It was a long day for them but they loved the atmosphere and were 100 metres from the finish line, where they saw Mo Farah speed past! (I took a bit longer… 2hrs 25mins)
Although this was the first time I had done the Great North Run, in reality I had been training for this for the past two years. I still can’t believe the number of runners at the start. It looks amazing on TV and it’s amazing and a privilege to have been there, to run in memory of my Mum and to raise money and awareness for Ovarian Cancer Action.
The start can only be described as an emotional roller coaster. I talked to many other runners, all with their own stories and reasons for running to raise money for their chosen charities. It was so good to share my story as well. The announcers played the hymn ‘Abide With Me’ for all those runners taking part in memory of a loved one, I took this time to think about Mum and how proud she would’ve been to know I was there, and I wished so much that she could’ve seen me. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a few tears.
Due to the sheer number of runners, it took me 20 minutes to get to the start line… then the race was on! I even managed to get a wave from Brendan Foster (the former long-distance runner who founded the Great North Run). It was an epic run, crossing the Tyne Bridge was amazing with live bands everywhere and the people of Newcastle and the North East cheering the runners on (and shouting out my name too). Kind folk handed out sweets and ice lollies, to keep you going when you started to flag. It was an amazing day and I will never forget it. And…. I hit my £600 target, which took my Mum’s tribute fund over the £1000 mark!
Finally thank you and big love to Steph, Finlay and Phoebe, my biggest supporters, everyone that donated and wished me well, and the support from the Ovarian Cancer Action team – a small charity team with big hearts!"
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