V4I2 - Merseyside Marathon Madness

Liverpool Half Marathon - 13th March 2005

Deborah Thomas and Wendy Gordon

Think before you act!


How many times have I had conversations with my 2 young daughters, Hannah 10 and Roisin 8 about the importance of thinking before they act because they have to be prepared to live with the consequences?


Why then early one Friday morning in December 2004 within minutes of opening my copy of icon magazine did I find myself on the phone to CANCERactive saying I would run the Liverpool Half Marathon without giving any real thought as to how I was going to train to run 13.1 miles in less than 4 months.


Training Begins


The following 2 days soon after waking, I donned my tracksuit and went out for a 5 minute run around the block. On the Monday morning, my legs feeling rather tender I stopped a friend of mine in the school playground who is a seasoned long distance runner to tell him of my impulsive decision and to ask him for some much needed advice.


He gave me a simple training schedule to follow and assured me I could do it.

Open quotesThe prospect of frequently running for over 90 minutes had already begun to scare meClose quotes


I set about the Ron’s training programme and 2 days later received some good news from my brother-in-law Kieran who said that his girlfriend Debs would come on board. "Thank you Debs"!


The prospect of frequently running for over 90 minutes had already begun to scare me as I realised the enormity of what I had taken on but the thought of having a companion to pound the pavements with suddenly made the task ahead seem much less daunting.


Give us your money!


January arrived and with one months training behind us our distances and times were improving and our self-belief growing. Now that we thought we could achieve our goal it was time to start hounding people for sponsorship.


Our quest for sponsors led to us finding the most incredible support network amongst friends and family who really did help us to make it to the start line.


Race day had its ups and downs


We were hoping to get round in about 2 hours so we lined up in the appropriate place. The atmosphere was amazing and with 5000 runners taking part, like nothing else either of us had experienced before.


Open quotesAfter several minutes we were able to find our rhythmClose quotes


The starting gun sounded and unfortunately disaster struck Debs tripped as the crowds moved forward drained of all colour and yelped "Ouch, my ankle"! However within seconds she was up on her feet again ready to continue. After several minutes we were able to find our rhythm and started our steady jog around Sefton Park (familiar training ground for us)!


The first couple of miles passed without any further problems and all was going well when a wire hoop, which neither of us had noticed, wrapped itself around Deb’s ankle and took her tumbling to the ground once more. She was certainly beginning to question whether someone somewhere had decided she shouldn’t be running this race. Once more she stood up, dusted herself down and said that even if I had to give her a piggyback, we were going to complete this race. And complete it we did.


The Finishing Line


The crowds of supporters all around the course were truly amazing and certainly helped us keep going when the bodies weren’t quite so willing. It was the friends and family who cheered us across the line who deserve the biggest thank you of all for believing in us from day one.


We didn’t know whether to laugh, collapse or cry but the sense of achievement and knowing that we had well and truly earned our sponsorship money was the most fantastic feeling. My daughters put our finishers medals around our necks and I don’t think we took them off for the rest of the day!

(Ed: Wendy and Debs have raised in excess of £1,300 for CANCERactive).

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