I started running with the Oh Ladies in February 2014. I didn’t want to as I had always hated running! Just over a year later I have achieved so much. My first medal was for the 5k Race for Life, an amazing, emotional day. I’ve since received medals for the Willow 10k, the Hatfield 5 miles, the 10k Winter Snow Run and, my biggest achievement to date, the Welwyn Half Marathon.
In 2014 I walked the race for life with my daughter admiring all the women at the front, racing off to complete a 5k. I just kept thinking how on earth can anybody run 5k? I then joined the Oh Ladies and realised anything is possible with the right focus, guidance and support. I have just completed the 2015 race for life with my daughter.
Whilst I am ultra-competitive and always expect the best of myself, I chose to run Race for Life to support my sister who recently lost a friend and neighbour to cancer. Distance and time, normally a massive target for me, were put aside. I ran with pride, passion, and took plenty of time to reflect and read the messages of memories of loved ones.
Crossing the line of the Edinburgh Half marathon this year I burst into tears. I had just ran 13.1 miles. The girl who turned up one Thursday night just 10 months earlier and could barely get through three miles stood on the finish line sobbing. For each step the Oh Ladies were with me. Even being in a strange city running by myself I had an entire club of powerful and encouraging women behind me and that is how I ran my first ever half marathon and that is why I keep on putting one foot in front of the other.
The Winter Run race was one of my toughest ever runs in horrible weather conditions. However, it’s the race where I feel I achieved the most. The sense of getting over that finish line was amazing. The support and the encouragement got me round and I was determined to not stop until I had crossed that line.
My medal hangs in pride of place for all to see; a memento of the day I felt like a champion. For some another token to add to the collection but for me the most beautiful of rewards! A celebration of self-belief, perseverance and passion. The 26.2 mile battle conquered – VLM 2015.
Nine months prior to the Willow 10k, I could not even run 10 steps without having to stop yet now here I was lining up at the start! Before joining the Oh Ladies I had not exercised for many years and I was self-conscious about the way I looked. The run started well but as time went on I began to struggle. At 9k I really thought that was it. I had to dig deep to keep running and wanted to burst into tears when I saw Oh Lady Victoria, who had come to find me and run with me.The end was right in front of me up a hill and panic set in but all of a sudden I found myself surrounded by a group of Oh Ladies willing me on telling me I could do it. I crossed the line with nothing left in me.