Lots of people run races just for the sense of achievement, but if you’re putting in all that work, it’s also a great opportunity to raise some money for a good cause.
I’ve always loved running and had done a few half marathons, but I really wanted to run a full marathon before I turned 30.
I also love animals, but when it came to picking a charity, I wanted to help animals that people wouldn’t normally think of. I came across Buglife through their work on agriculture and pesticides. As soon as I heard about them I knew that this was the charity for me.
Persuading people that bugs are a worthy cause was easier than anticipated; the hard part was training for the race itself. A marathon really isn’t something you can do without being properly committed. I started training in January and by the summer I was training five days a week, including a three hour run on Sundays.
When the day of the race arrived, it was cold, windy and pouring with rain; fortunately my family were all there cheering me on. For most of the race I was feeling surprisingly good and after 21 miles I was still smiling and managed a cheery wave!
After that things got a lot harder and for the next few miles I was really struggling. I don’t know if the spectators realise how much runners appreciate it when they cheer you on, but it really helps!
Somehow, I managed to find a burst of energy for the last mile and a half and as I turned the corner for the last 100 metres I heard someone remark to their friend, ‘She doesn’t even look tired!’
I managed to finish in 4 hours 18 minutes and raised £510.26.
I’d definitely recommend taking part in a race as a way to fundraise for Buglife. It’s hard work, but really rewarding in the end, and there’s the added satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped our creepy crawly friends!