In February of this year, my Mum assumed the role of Lady Captain of her local Golf Club in Saddleworth, and chose the British Heart Foundation as her Charity of the Year. I wanted to support her fundraising by taking on a challenge.
I’ve run 10k’s before but never considered I could run further – and never had the motivation! But to sign up for the Potters Arf seemed like a suitable challenge!
I joined the Potters Trotters Ladies running club for support and began training in March this year. I was delighted every time I went out for a run that was over my comfort zone (i.e. 6 miles!). My husband and family were so supportive and I found a good way to train was for him to drop me off and I had to run home (there’s nothing more motivating than that I found!)
But there’s more to a half marathon than the running training – I suddenly had to consider running with a drinks bottle; What should I eat pre-run?; Should I eat anything on the run? Should I try using gels? (I didn’t!); don’t forget to wear sunscreen (not needed on the day as it turned out!)
On the day itself I was so nervous. I was running with a friend and as we parked up the heavens opened! It rained so heavily and hard for a good hour! She had some ponchos but I wasn’t sure what I thought about the prospect of running wearing one of these. Suddenly something else to consider, which only served to make me more nervous.
Thankfully as we walked to the start the rain stopped – ponchos were discarded! We made our way to the start – my stomach was churning.
It was good to finally get underway after the build-up – amazing crowds on the bridge over Potteries Way cheering us on at the start. I had been told how incredible the support was from the local communities, and it was true.
I feel like I remember every mile of the race! It was hard work – a slog! The crowds were there all the way – people of all ages! I liked the younger children holding out their hands for a “Hi 5”! I touched every one of them!
As I had my name on the front of my Heartrunners top, many people called out which was great!
I found Anchor Rd surprisingly achievable, but it got tougher as the miles wore on. By Milton I was struggling but my sister in law was there to cheer me on and tell me how proud she was of me!
The stretch towards the infamous Milton Rd was worse, but I knew my family would be there waiting to cheer me on! When I turned the corner they were there and I got very emotional! My Mum and stepdad were there as a surprise! They walked with me up the road and from then on I had a second wind all the way to the finish, where the crowds were still full even after 2hrs 44 minutes!
As I’d seen the last car I thought my time was poor – but I looked up to see my time and the joy I felt was overwhelming! I suddenly realised what I’d achieved and I fell into the arms of my friends in tears! (Fellow Potters Trotters who were waiting for everyone of us to finish - brilliant)
I’ll never forget my Potters Arf experience and I additionally raised £970 for the BHF too. An incredible experience. Thank you.
Kate Ellis Bib 373