In a rather unexpected rush of blood to the head during deepest darkest winter, I found myself doing something rather astonishing. After some over-indulging throughout the festive season I decided enough was enough and I really needed to get my act together. So, not one for doing things by halves, I signed up for the Viking Quarter Marathon in Waterford City. As I say a definite rush of blood to the head. Normally I wouldn’t run unless there was something on fire.
Despite my initial best intentions a sort of inertia kicked in when the going got tough and as the calendar months turned over and the training time got progressively shorter my interest began to wane and my ambition began to decrease. Until, that is, my work colleagues got a similar notion and set up a training group. Despite there being about twenty people with good intentions there were only two runners among us and in order to motivate us and interest us and challenge us out of our comfort zones, they selected a local charity to benefit from our efforts and then there was no going back.
A plan was formed, schedules were drawn up, runners were purchased and hair was tied back. Oh dear God here we go. Now three times a week we pound the roads, climb the hills and put in the miles in order to build ourselves up to achieving our goal on Race Day. The clock is ticking, the days are rolling in and the actual running time is increasing drastically. Sore, nervous, frightened and a little bewildered is a general summation of the group’s feelings thus far I would guess. Apart from our two intrepid and committed trainers who coach us and bizarrely then go off and do their own random twelve mile run. As you do. But to be fair without them we would struggle to keep going, so thank you guys and we promise to buy you a whistle or a protein bar when all this is done.
If it wasn’t for the Charity I think I’d have dropped out long ago. Despite the children’s best efforts to encourage and support me, it turns out I’m useless by myself. But, this time my motivation is different. We are running for Waterford Hospice. We are going through this pain to raise much needed funds to support those who look after our sick and terminally ill loved ones and provide the facilities required for them to do their job the best they can. There’s not a family I know who hasn’t been touched by sickness and loss. There’s not a family I know who is immune to the trauma of terminal illness and the care provided by Waterford Hospice is immeasurable. I know because they cared for my friend through the final stages of her cancer. They cared for her husband and they cared for her three young children. In her memory I rise early on a Saturday morning to run up and down the roads. In her memory I put one foot in front of the other and just keep going. I am always the last one. I am always the slowest of the group but a Quarter Marathon is a Quarter Marathon regardless of speed and I will do this so that other families can have the care and support they need when a loved one is not going to get better. There will be big salty tears running down my face when I reach the finish line, but reach it I will. And when I do my kids will be there to greet me, they will understand what got me this far and they will welcome me home..
(If anyone is able and willing to donate to keep me running and keep the care coming the link is: http://give.everydayhero.com/ie/eirgen-s-waterford-hospice-run Thank you)