A week ago I did something I never thought I’d be able to do: I ran 5k for charity. As a person, I liked sport and played lots of different sports at school. However, distance running was never really my forte. Last year I managed to complete the Couch to 5k programme (which I highly recommend!) and run for thirty minutes (roughly 4k for me) three times a week. This year I wanted to build upon my achievements of the previous year.
This wasn’t my only motivation. Last September, a very close friend sadly passed away after battling a brain tumour for several years. I wanted to do something to honour and remember him and raise money and awareness for a cause he would have approved of.
Enter the Race for Life. For those who are unfamiliar with Race for Life, they are events run by Cancer Research UK across the country to raise money. People can take part in 5k, 10k or muddy (assault course) races and you can do so by running jogging or walking. Currently the event is a women-only one though male children under 13 can take part with a parent or guardian.
I chose to run a 5k Race for Life in Rochester. Training started way back in February/ I had let my running from the previous year lapse a little so I decided to repeat the Couch to 5K programme then go beyond and build up to running 5k. By the beginning of May I was running 5k three times a week. Then I had to make some adjustments. In my earlier training, I mostly ran at night as I was at university or placement during the day. As the Race was during the day, I needed to be able to run then too and endure the different conditions.
I am so glad I did! The temperature on the day was sweltering and everyone was sweating before the Race had even begun. The heat was oppressive and as I jogged my way around the course you could feel the sun beating down on your back. It was about the only time in my life I have ever wished the sun would go away.
On the day, we arrived at Rochester Castle, the start and finish line. All participants did a Zumba-style warm up before lining up and setting off on our journey around Rochester. The route was lovely and scenic, going through some lovely areas of Rochester. People who were taking part often smiled at each other and encouraged where needed. The spectators along the route were amazing and I especially want to thank the little girls who were handing out water just before the high street at the end of the race.
I completed the Race in about 37 minutes, a little above my average but I had never run in such heat before. Charlie’s parents and my friend Alex were waiting at the finishing line with my mum, my brother and Jim. It was lovely to see all of them and show them my medal.
So far, I have raised just over £500 for Cancer Research, a total which is not only vastly more than the £150 I thought I might manage but humbles me incredibly. People who don’t even know me, but knew Charlie, have sponsored me as well as family and friends and it is amazing how many lives Charlie has touched.
I’m so glad I did the Race for Life and it’s something I will remember for the rest of my life. I would definitely take part again in the future, maybe with some friends.
For anyone who wants to sponsor me, my JustGiving page is:
And information on the Race for Life can be found at: