September is always an important time for our charity as it is International Recovery Month and traditionally we highlight our work and celebrate addiction recovery. This year we have the added focus of celebrating our own 20th Birthday and the completion of the 20 Half Marathon Challenge on the 30th of September where, with a bit of luck, I will be running Nottingham’s very own Robin Hood Half Marathon. To kick off Recovery Month I took part in the Kenilworth Half and this will be followed by the Great North Run this Sunday; the following week is the Reigate Half (or Humber Costal/Warrington Half) and then on to finale at the Robin Hood. There are currently over 20 of us participating in this and raising funds for the charity.

So – to number 17 – Kenilworth. A course described as ‘undulating’, a slight understatement with 650 ft of climb! Although I was looking forward to this one, a certain amount of doubt existed as my training almost came to a complete halt due to taking a family holiday during a heatwave and the added bonus of jet lag! Oh, those pre-race nerves!  These were justified for once, as I didn’t feel in any sort of rhythm until about mile 5, and then it left me again about mile 10. Oh well – another finishing line and in a decent time of 1:53:10. Still aiming to do all 20 in sub 2 time and this was the 2nd slowest so far.

THE ONE WITH THE FOCUS

I remember that there was the usual lovely sunshine, beautiful countryside, great support, brilliant race marshals and volunteers, but this time it was all about digging deep and getting round, which I did, without stopping, but only just. I couldn’t really say I had many conversations along the way for once. Anyone who knows me will agree that this is not the norm. So I just reminded myself about why I took on this challenge and got on with the job, as painful as it was. I always tell people that it is as much about the mental challenge as it is the physical.

Thank you to the supporters on the roadside who confirmed I was still moving in mile 11 when the hill appeared to stop me in my tracks! There were the usual distractions along the way and my favourite was the guy pushing the pram (passing me!) with his young child in it. Not sure I’ve seen that one before in a half marathon.

Once over the line I appeared to recover quickly but with a plan to complete the final 4 in 5 weeks, I headed for the race HQ and the free massage. Thank you Andrew for sorting out my tight calf muscles and sore heel.

WHAT’S NEXT?

So it’s nearly time for the Great North Run. Having participated with as few as 360 runners and not to mention the 600 miles of training this year, usually with one other person, it will be an experience running and hopefully finishing with over 43,000 others. Huge thanks to my friend Ian for sorting all the logistics of getting me to and from the North East, as well as providing accommodation. Couldn’t do it without you.

Best Moment – The words of encouragement from fellow runners in the closing miles, and then later again in the Race HQ on sharing my story. Your words and support will see me through the next 3 races in 4 weeks. Of that I am sure.

Funniest Moment – The spelling mistake on the finisher’s t-shirt – KENILWORTH HALF MARAHTON – brilliant!

 STILL MORE RUNNERS PLEASE!

We still have Charity places for people wanting to run the Robin Hood Half Marathon & Mile Challenges on the 29th & 30th of September. The deadline for entries is looming fast so if you would like to join us and raise funds to support our work please e-mail us at grahammiller@doubleimpact.org.uk or to find out more visit the charity partners’ info page on the marathon website. For those looking for a shorter distance to run there is the new ‘One Mile Challenge’ this year where you can also raise money for the Charity. More details on the event website here.

As always thanks to our service users, The Treat Kitchen, Buckles Solicitors and other supporters who are already signed up to run alongside staff from Café Sobar and Double Impact.

If you would like to make a donation to the campaign please click here.

FINAL CALL FOR VOLUNTEERS

As a Charity Partner in the Robin Hood Half Marathon this year we need volunteers to help marshal our section near the meadows at around the 11 mile mark where there will also be our ‘Cheering Point’ to support the runners. If you are interested please get in touch grahammiller@doubleimpact.org.uk

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