Update – http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/15262471.Inspirational_aunt_diagnosed_with_cancer_during_12_half_marathon_bid___so_niece_steps_in_to_finish/
I made the local newspaper!!
(Before I begin I would like to stress there will be a lot of photos)
Wow. Is all I can say about this weekend, there really are no words to describe it as there was so many emotions for lots of different reasons. Lets start with the journey there…
So I had a hell week with travelling and unlucky things happening to me so I KNEW this weekend wasn’t going to be nice and easy like planned. We get to London & find out our train to Leeds is cancelled which was the biggest pain in the arse! After queueing and speaking with the ticket man he said our plan of action was to travel on a train to Doncaster, change to a train to go to Leeds from there and then get on the train we was supposed to be on from Leeds to Carlisle. This was all a bit much for 10 o’clock in the morning plus we were told we wouldn’t have an assigned seat so we waited until the next train to Doncaster had a platform. When that platform number was announced the crowd behind us (and us included) charged like an animal stampede to the train to find unassigned seats as no one wants to be standing for a 3 hour train journey. We got extremely lucky and had 2 seats next to each other and one slightly away with the table (me being anti-social…I chose the seat alone). We had a brain wave sitting on the train when we realised that this was stopping at Newcastle which is only around 1hr20 from Carlisle so whilst waiting for a driver (yes you read that right…a driver which delayed us EVEN more) we made the group decision to stay on the train till Newcastle and travel over from there.
Once in Newcastle 1 hour later than expected we grabbed a cute little coffee and waited for our train just itching to see the family! For people who know me and Suzanne and our love for Newcastle – you can imagine the struggle of getting on the train to Carlisle and leaving the best city.
We had my beautiful Aunty Lynda waiting for us at Carlisle train station and for someone who has been through what she has she looks bloody amazing (We are also certain we saw a Gallagher brother but we cannot confirm).
Normal people a day before a half marathon will stock up on some good carbs and fuel themselves for race day, but our family don’t like to follow the rules so Saturday night was a dinner choice of an Indian which is risky business for a 13 mile run the next day but hey ho! Luckily we were all accident free 👍🏻.
The dreaded race day then came and to say I was worried was an understatement but I knew I had a huge crowd of supporters which made it a little bearable. Also my Aunty Helen was a hero and text me a few days before saying she had signed up to do the run so she could stay with me every step of the way but I will come to this emotional part later.
(I mean how amazing does she look?!)
We met all of the runners & supporters at the start line and made our plan of when and where we will be so we could get some pictures.
Now on to the course…all I can say is they’re lucky it was the most gorgeous views because the route was absolutely horrific & I could have been extremely close to giving up. If it wasn’t for Helen & the incredible woman she is I would not be smiling and taking back a Keswick half marathon medal.
We had a plan for the route, we marched up all of the hills and ran as much as I could down and on the flat parts which at the start sounded perfect but no one who hasn’t done that route before or knows the area could prepare for how steep and challenging those hills are. I had no headphones as they broke which was perfect timing so again if Helen wasn’t with me and I had no music or company – I wouldn’t have finished. Having Aunty Helen running with me was like having a PT, I feel like I should have paid her by the hour, she was so encouraging and pushed me to limits I wouldn’t have done without – thank you again so much Helen you really did make that run so special for me and I will never forget it.
When I’m running I normally know there are water stations at miles 3,6,9 & sometimes more so this is what motivates me to move a bit quicker, I’m like Becki we’ve got water coming up in a few minutes we’re going to be ok. Well this plan went out the window on this run as the first water station had run out of water…I know, unbelievable right!? Luckily another mile or so later a cafe must have been told as they were outside of their shop with bottles they were giving to us runners. Then we ran past 2 ice cream stops – seriously I think they were trying to torture me, and I found out 3 of my supporters actually got an ice cream whilst I was crying round Keswick.
Aunty Lynda met me at a few points on the run to have a little jog with us, she misses running a lot and this was her opportunity to join in with the day. She was an amazing supporter and was there to pick me up when I needed it! She was followed by Suzanne & Victoria who saw how bad I was..even at mile 6.
I think the most incredible part of the run was the last half a mile, luckily it was downhill so it wasn’t AS bad but I had Lynda, Helen & Suzanne waiting for me at the top of the last hill that we then ran down all together to the finish line. By this point I was done, I was nearly crying and I just wanted it over so Suzanne took my hand and shouted “you are so close Becki I’m so proud of you” and we ran down the hill together, I had Helen shouting “DO NOT STOP RUNNING” and Aunty Lynda behind me “Becki you look fabulous”. Thinking about it now we must have looked like nutters running down this hill but it was all worth it. I started to slow down but Aunty Helen grabbed my other hand and dragged me – I then saw the finish line and everything went blank and I just sprinted the fastest I ever have to finish this ridiculous run. I crossed the finish line at 3:01 which is not a PB for me but knowing how many hills I walked up and how much pain I was in I did not care in the slightest and I still don’t, not many people could handle that run – which was proven on the run as we saw 3 men give up & a huge pile of sick on the floor around mile 9.
I had a huge group of people who had waited ages for me to finish and I’m so grateful and sorry it took me so long but I can’t thank you enough for the support and the praises for how slow I was!
I think this will be a day I will never forget in good & bad ways. I was so surprised at myself afterwards I wanted to cry and couldn’t bring myself to smile about the events that had happened but to know I have an amazing family makes the day OK.
Going back to a house of 17 people all having dinner, babies running riot and everyone smiling made the weekend amazing and I wouldn’t change anything about it but I will happily write and mean it when I say I will never do the Keswick half marathon again.
Once my strop was finally over I was convinced to go for our first night out in Carlisle which was nice to just let go and chill out after the stress of my week/weekend and it was 100% worth sitting in the back of a car for 6 hours home feeling a little bit delicate.
I also just want to say a huge thank you to Suzanne taking a whole weekend to travel up North with me, was by my side (when she could be) the whole of the run and even ran down the hill holding my hand with her healing foot, you really are amazing and I hope you know that
That’s it, Keswick half marathon is finally over – it’s been emotional. I’m now on single figures, 9 more to go!
See you in Liverpool 🤙🏼