Brighton Marathon – A Supporter’s Story

It’s Brighton Marathon Eve, so we felt it was fitting to share Natalie’s blog…a supporter’s story.

Two years ago this weekend, I went down to Brighton for one of my best friends running the Marathon and it was a lovely weekend that we shared together, even though most of the time was spent apart!

I was there for her in a supporting role and I enjoyed every minute of it. The weather was beautiful and the sun cream was applied, but it was a bit too warm for running really and I didn’t envy anyone running in the heat.

The atmosphere was electric and though I didn’t get to see much of the actual race itself, I was there to soak up the remarkable achievements of everyone taking part and for the reasons why they were running. Everyone’s story was different and very personal to them.

I didn’t see my friend start as that was out of the town and I missed her on a corner that I was sure I was going to catch sight of her about 5k in, but I was tracking her on the App and we spoke on the phone.

I was there to take her mind off things when her foot started hurting around miles 15-16. I also encouraged her to keep going when things got tough and I hoped her seeking medical attention would help.

I managed to get a good spot on the finishing straight and I saw her at the finish and despite her pain and discomfort she looked strong on her approach to the finish line. I was so proud of her and her journey and I was completely inspired by her achievements of getting to that finish line. However, I was still completely ruling out the fact that I would ever be able to complete such a distance!

I wasn’t able to get to celebrate or congratulate my friend straight away as the charity village was extremely busy and not easy to get to and so I decided to wait on the upper seafront whilst my friend had her well deserved sports massage and complimentary sandwiches in a marquee below.

When we eventually met up, I couldn’t put into words how proud I was of her and I did get quite emotional. I felt both her pain and her relief of finishing. I was just so pleased to be there in person for her and to congratulate her.

I also got very excited about posting up her picture with her medal on to social media and then it was time to refuel and listen to her reflect on her run.

I just wanted to share this experience from the point of someone who was completely inspired by her friend’s running adventures. I felt honoured to be party to her marathon achievement and she did make me wonder if I could also take on that distance, as I sat there with only a few half marathons under my belt!

I think also it is worth saying, a seed was sown in my mind to whether I could ever run that far another year?

Never say never and yes #SheCan đź’ś

I would like to dedicate this blog to the wonderful ladies that I know are taking on Brighton this Sunday. I will be thinking of you and tracking you all. Go and have a great run x

What a month!

September seems to be a good month for SheCan… It started off with HQ receiving confirmation that SheCan… is now a registered Trademark. We’re quite excited by that and what it means for the future. That was swiftly followed by an amazing weekend at the Great North Run (read Jenn’s report here if you missed it). Later that week, we celebrated our first birthday with a really lovely evening at the Vines at Barton Hall.

happybirthdayshecan

On the night I felt overcome with emotion, barely able to string two sentences together. SheCan… has brought about several changes for me, a real boost in positivity for all aspects of my life. It’s given me so much, a lot of which can’t easily be articulated, however I really do want to try to tell the world how fantastic all of the members of SheCan… are and what it means to me.

Back in the beginning, when we set out to host a beginners course, Emily and I really had no expectation that the group would evolve and grow, let alone so quickly. But it seems we stumbled on a group of women who not only embrace our slightly barmy ways but who also turn out come rain or shine, with niggles or in a bad mood and sometimes with big things going on at home. That in itself is humbling and spurs us on when we are weary or down in the dumps. One thing is for sure, you’re not glum for long with that lot around…Running is good as a therapy but running with friends is  like nothing else.

So our crazy bunch, who are resilient and funny and fabulously individual are steadily growing and welcoming new people with each new block. It’s so wonderful to see newbies being embraced as ‘one of us’ so quickly and joining in the banter and excitement each session.

It’s that warmth and slightly barmy sense of humour that makes SheCan… so awesome, so positive, so inspiring. And I’m so grateful to you all for turning up twice a week. The future is exciting and that is driven by the passion and friendship that is grown from within the group.

shecanlaugh

And now I’m teary again. So on to the awards….

The wonderful Jennie was awarded our Member of the year for her amazing attitude towards running. She always brings a smile to any situation, even when we’re really struggling at the end of a long run. Jennie also completely blew us away when she posted from her holiday in France to say she’d done a long run- completely by herself in the French countryside. She’s one dedicated lady!

We also awarded 2 ‘Members Member of the year’ awards. Tracey received one and Ann the other. Both ladies received equal votes with a huge amount of love and positive comments for both ladies from the rest of the group. Both Ann and Tracey have shown such spirit in their running journeys, not always finding the sessions easy or comfortable but always coming back with a ‘can’t give up now’ attitude. Both have made such amazing progress and give so much to the group by way of PMA, support and sunny attitudes .

Well done you guys, you’re amazing.

But that isn’t the end of our good month here at SheCan…HQ.

We started a new beginners course at the start of the month. Week 3 beckons and this makes me happy. The first session of the week is a timed mile- our beginners set off on a flat out and back route to run a mile at their own pace. It’s always such a confidence boosting session and I LOVE to see that glint of realisation in their eyes at the end of the session…a glimpse of ‘yes, I can do this! I just ran a mile!’. It’s amazing to see.

Next up, a race report. Some of the SheCan…Run Kettering Ladies (our affiliated club members) took part in The Oundle Magnificent Ten today. A 10k off road race. The setting – Lyveden New Bield  was stunning in the early morning sun and spirits were high. It was a small event with a lovely atmosphere and only a short queue for the loo (bonus!). The route was scenic but tough under foot, especially for those new to off roading. A mix of farm tracks, long grass and woodland, it certainly made the ankles work!shecanoutlawbefore

Then we hit the hills. Oh the hills. But the course was peppered with humorous signs and lots of supportive marshals who really made the race. The end wasn’t really sprint finish material, due to the potted surface but we came in to a round of applause and lots of smiles. Thankfully due to the lovely sunshine we could recover with a cuppa and some flapjack on the grass. All in all, a really lovely morning spent with some of the SheCan… family. Lots of giggles, lots of support and a lovely warm glow (not just from the run…!)

outlawafter1lyveden

And lastly on the list of epic things to happen this month, we’ve had a few exciting letters through the post between us this week. Both SheCan… and a few of the ladies (including me, I’m beside myself!) have received nominations for categories at the Kettering Sports Awards which will be held in October. How fabulous is that? Biggest congratulations to Gemma and Tracey. If you fancy, please have a look here.

So on in to the autumn…another club race in November – a relay this time (should be fun!), our beginners will graduate with a bang by running 5k around Stanwick lakes in November. We’ve got a Christmas meal planned and a Christmas themed run all in the name of charity. It’s going to be a busy few months and I can’t wait!

Kate x