One week on from Chester and it was time to hit the road again. The North Lincs Half Marathon would mark the halfway point of the challenge to complete 20 in a year. This week will also see the charity mark its official 20th Birthday on the 11th of May when there will be a Spirit of Recovery Awards in Nottingham to celebrate this special occasion. In setting up this challenge I always planned to raise the positive profile for people recovering from addictions at the same time as reducing the stigma sometimes experienced by them. Judging by the support we continue to receive on the races, and the groundswell on our social media platforms, things are coming along quite nicely, including some kind words from some of the UK’s elite athletes.

THE HOT ONE

What happened to the traditional Bank Holiday weekend rain? With a forecast of around 25 degrees by the finish, it was time to take on all the advice sent out by the race organisers in the days leading up the event. So –  lots of pre-race hydrating and a healthy covering of factor 50 sun cream was as important as the usual carb loading!  As I got out of the car at 7.30 it was already warm enough to head off to the start area with just a running vest. This was in stark contrast to the last 5 runs where it has been as cold as minus 6.

What an experience it was to have a bagpiper lead the flag bearers (otherwise known as the pace setters carrying their time flags) followed closely by all the runners and their supporters to the start line. A really lovely touch, and it made us all feel a bit extra special. Thankfully the start area had some shade, but that was about it. I set off with the 1:45 pace setters with the intention of getting round before it got too hot. That was ok until about mile 9 where I dropped off the pace due to the heat and almost stopped in mile 12. Took water at every station with a fair amount of it going over my head! A huge thanks to the marshals on bikes checking on all of us in those final miles. Encouraging, reassuring and very supportive with their kind words, and not forgetting the ‘Race Angels’ on hand to help anyone reach their goal in the last few miles.

I have to say, I really enjoyed this race and my thanks go to the organisers and volunteers. You really did an incredible job of looking after us all and getting us round safely in challenging conditions. Loved the finishing area and the springiness of the running track when my legs were dying.

Best Moments – The procession to the start led by the piper & flag bearers. The tap on my shoulder of ‘Well done’ on the finish line, from a fellow runner who had helped me along on mile 12 when I was struggling. The chocolate muffin at the end!

Funniest Moment – On the massage table in the finishing area, with me screaming as my calf muscles were being worked on. Certainly drew a few laughs from fellow participants.

So – it’s 10 down and 10 to go and also halfway through the 4 in 4weeks mini challenge. I must be mad!

20th BIRTHDAY UPDATE

So the 20th Birthday party is this week and it seems fitting that the 20 half marathon challenge is at the halfway mark. The team are very busy getting organised for our big day on Friday. The past 20 years have been an amazing journey and my thank you, congratulations and acknowledgement goes to every single service user, volunteer, staff member and supporter who has been involved along the way. What an impact you have all made and here’s to the next 20.

IKANO ROBIN HOOD HALF MARATHON – SEPTEMBER 2018

We are still looking for people to run the Robin Hood Half Marathon in September. Would you like to join us and raise funds to support our work? E-mail us at grahammiller@doubleimpact.org.uk, or to find out more visit the charity partners info page on the marathon website, click here. 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.

NEXT RUNS

I am still planning to attempt 5 and 6 weeks. Chester and North Lincs completed and the hilly Leeds this week and with a fair wind Liverpool and Derby by the 3rd of June!  I’ll post some updates on Twitter for you to @DI_Recovery & @DI_Runs.

The halfway point has been achieved! Thanks for reading.

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