Marathon done!

It’s 48 hours since we lined up to start the Brighton Marathon… and about 43 since we finished it! Results here for those interested. It was both much harder and way more fun than expected.Marathon finishers

Thanks!

There are lots of people we need to thank. Thanks to everyone who sponsored us by donating through our JustGiving page. So far we’ve got £1,617.20 in the kitty, which is pretty exciting! If you’ve donated then you really should feel great for supporting the valuable work done by CRY. Thanks to everyone who offered me advice during training and in the run-up to the big day. Thanks to all our friends and family and all the volunteers, celebs and the strangers who came out to support us on Sunday. It’s amazing how a cheer and a few words of encouragement can keep your legs going at mile 21.

Tips for first-timers

This was my first marathon, and first race of more than 10k. If you’re considering doing a marathon you really should go for it. I don’t really have any particular words of wisdom to pass on, but here are a few things that were important for me on the day and might help you:

  • Run with a friend and stick together.
  • Your race time really doesn’t matter. Save that for your second marathon.
  • Keep running.
  • … but it’s ok to stop for a wee.
  • Thank the crowds – you’ll need them.
  • Vaseline. Everywhere.
  • Eat.
  • Follow a training plan, but don’t worry too much about it.
  • This book was useful (despite the New Age mumbo jumbo).

Marathon

In two months’ time I’ll be running the Brighton Marathon in memory of Arabella. I’m raising money for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), so for those who’d like to donate I’ve added a link in the sidebar→→→→→

Please do consider donating, or at least read the rest of this blog post before you decide you don’t want to.

I’m no runner. Or at least, I wasn’t until I signed up for the marathon. I was always one of the group walking at the back in ‘cross-country’ at school. Until recently I was running in a pair of £9 trainers bought from Sports Direct in 2011. I’m getting the hang of it though. If you’re the running/cycling type yourself, you can see my progress on my Strava profile.

Arabella
Selfie pro

Arabella was (my partner) Rosie’s cousin, but much more like a sister. She died in May from a cardiac arrest, just 16 years old. The three of us spent a lot of time together, along with Arabella’s mum Clare and the rest of the family. I can only be thankful that we spent her last day together.

According to CRY, 12 young people in the UK die each week from undiagnosed heart conditions; a handful of these completely unexplainable, as in the case of Arabella. The randomness of the event makes it all the more devastating for the families of people who die in this way. This short video gives an accurate representation:

CRY are a great charity. They were quick to offer support after Arabella died and continue to do so. If you decide to make a donation, your money will be spent on CRY’s services such as bereavement support, as well as clinical research and their screening programme. Hopefully the work supported by CRY will someday reveal the mysteries of sudden adult deaths like Arabella’s.

I’m not the only one doing things to raise money. For starters I will be running the marathon with Rosie’s sister, Amy. Amy’s husband Peter will be walking 100km from London to Brighton in May. Rosie did a bake sale, and her brother Richard sang carols in Borough Market. Arabella would have turned 17 on February 21st. I’ve set up a Thunderclap on this day, which is where lots of people sign-up to send out a simultaneous tweet or Facebook post. Please do so by clicking here – it won’t cost you anything.

Arabella is missed so much by so many people. Please help us raise as much money as possible for CRY.