It's not a sprint...
It's not a sprint...
Ladies and gentlemen, a drum roll please.... I am running a marathon. A whole marathon. That's a full 26.2 miles of Edinburgh coastline with just my trainers, some cheesy tunes and a bottle of Powerade.
First thing you need to know: I am not a runner. Not even a bad runner or a lapsed runner. My entire running history consisted of the Sheffield Half Marathon in 2009, the last three miles of which haunt me to this day. Next thing you need to know: I am lazy. I love nothing more in a morning than hitting the snooze button and putting off the inevitable dash round the house to get to work on time.
My cosy lifestyle was however shattered on one fateful night. That night was the JCI UK National Convention gala dinner, hosted in the wonderful city of Sheffield which I am honoured to call home. If you have not yet attended a JCI event I am not sure I can fully do justice to the amount of enthusiasm, optimism and, well, borderline craziness that bubbles around you. Imagine a room full of labrador puppies at treat time and you are pretty much there. Which means that when Kate and Dan first suggested the Edinburgh marathon, to the immediate delight of my husband James, I felt it would be churlish to dismiss out of hand. Fast forward a few weeks, a few "sign up first, think later" pep talks, and a few G&Ts, and the idea began to take hold.
And then it happened. Those immortal words that always end in my agreeing to such quests: I'll do it if Ilona does. And not just from one person this time, oh no, in true Team Sheffield spirirt I had now become responsible for Sandra and Niki's challenge too. The last couple of weeks of December were a blur of signing up, reading running plans and telling myself all the wonderful fitness benefits I will get from this, let's be honest, rash decision.
But the main reason I am doing this, the one that will get me out on these icy mornings and the one that will keep me putting one battered foot in front of another in May, is to raise money for a great charity: Nothing But Nets. This amazing grass roots movement, with the support of the UN, aims to eradicate malria by 2015. Every single penny donated goes straight to buying mosquito nets and educating people how to protect themselves from malaria. Every $10 dollars provides nets for, and saves the lives of, a family of four.
Even I'll get out of bed for that.
Please sponsor us at http://www.crowdrise.com/jciunitedkingdom/fundraiser/jcisheffield. Every $10 saves the lives of a family in Africa.
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