R is for Race for Life

What is it?

A charity event for women to walk, jog or run 5 or 10km to raise funds on behalf of Cancer Reasearch UK

Race for Life and Me

I first signed up for the Race for Life in September 2009.  My friend and colleague Julie Simester was battling with terminal cancer, and, following knee surgery for a serious knee condition, I couldn’t even walk 100 yards without my knees protesting.

Julie and I weren’t what you might term *very* close friends, but she and I were going through the hospital mill of pain, treatments and side effects at the same time and we had a kind of kinship – an unspoken understanding of what the other was going through formed a bond between us.

Signing up for the Race for Life is undoubtedly one of the scariest things I have ever done.  I intended the Race to be something that I could do for both myself and for Julie.  I would be walking for her, and building my own ability and overcoming my knee problems at the same time.

The Day!

That day turned into the hottest day of the year thus far, and I was faintly concerned about my dog Max who was walking with me.  I arrived at Poole Park nice and early, and the atmosphere was unreal!  Max and I set off after the runners, and as I walked over the bridge towards Baiter Park I could see a sea of pink t-shirts in front of me.  People came out onto their balconies to clap as we went past, which was quite emotional.  There was a Heart FM DJ present and Max and I even got a mention as we crossed the finish line!

The Verdict

It was a very emotional day on so many levels.  The Race means so much to so many people.  There is barely a person who has not been affected by cancer, and that makes the whole event both memorable and emotional, with an atmosphere of both sadness and triumph at once.  It took me 9 months to build up to walking 5km, and the Race remains one of my proudest achievements.  Max was on a mission, and instead of his usual “sniff every single blade of grass” style of walking, trotted resolutely at my side, refusing any pause or water until we’d crossed the finish line.  It did feel like a bonding experience for the pair of us, as well as an homage to Julie, who sadly lost her fight against cancer in September 2009.

2011!

Max and I have again signed up to walk the 5km on 26th June in Poole Park.  I have had a knee relapse this year, and am *extremely* nervous about the upcoming race given that I am back to only managing a few hundred yards again.  *Shameless plug* If you’d like to encourage me with sponsorship, please feel free!

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One Response to R is for Race for Life

  1. Pingback: U is for Uphill struggle | Jay's Insight

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