Early in 2012 I was occupying my usual seat in the third row of St John’s listening to our Vicar the Rev Sydney Fox delivering his sermon at the eleven o’clock service. Normally this mostly passes me by as he expounds on the interpretation of that Sunday’s gospel. However this week something he said stuck in my mind- it was along the lines of how God asks us to serve Him in many different ways some of which we do not expect. This resonated when I attended a meeting of the Churches together in Fulwood and Broughton Guild committee and we had a presentation on the Guild events planned for the year.
One of the events (or four if you are counting individually) was a series of Guild road races. A 5k, 10k, marathon/half marathon and a 10 mile race. A thought began to form that I might take up Sydney’s challenge and do all four races with the aim of raising money for St John Baptist Broughton. Without giving myself time to consider I registered the next day for all four races. My wife Susan set up a justgiving account for charitable donations allowing us to claim an additional 25% of the money donated. And to spur people to donate I agreed to match any donations to the site. I then learnt a couple of things, that people can be very generous and ten miles is a long way to run.
Anyway the 5k and 10k passed without too much excitement. I then started training for the marathon. Twelve weeks before the race I stepped up my training. All went well at first. However in the second week I found I could not walk properly. I assumed it was a bit of cramp. It wasn’t and got worse. The upshot was a visit to my GP and two weeks complete rest.
First day back after the rest it happened again. Next a visit to the Consultant Surgeon followed by a huge needle in the right knee. This seemed to sort me out but time had passed on and there was now only four weeks left to the race. Despite my best efforts I could only manage 17 miles in training so I did the sensible thing and dropped down to the half marathon (sensible?). The day before I said to Sue “It will be fine so long as it is not raining and freezing at the same time“. This was a mistake as on the day of the race it poured down all the time with freezing rain. Anyway I completed the race a bit wetter and colder that I started. This spurred me on and the ten mile race soon approached. I was carried along on the pace of the race and broke my personal best by fifteen minutes!
All in all it was enjoyable (needle and rain excepting). Would I do it again –not just now but come spring who knows!
I managed to raise a total of £3443.50 for the Church. Many thanks to all those who contributed and thanks to everyone for your support.