Monday, 12 October 2015

The Last Place

The reason I am running for Young Epilepsy in the Virgin London Marathon 2016. This picture shows my eldest (some time ago) having an absence seizure, which is a type of epilepsy frequently affecting children. My son was diagnosed with Childhood Epilepsy when he was 5 but had been having seizures like this for at least 18 months - wish I had known what they were and got it sorted out so much sooner!
I've got the last place to represent Young Epilepsy in next year's Virgin London Marathon!
I had hoped I would secure the place. I had even prayed, in my own sort of way, but there was enough uncertainty that when the call came to say that I had got the place I was momentarily silent.
Not a natural thing for me - silence.
And then it gradually sank in.
I had got the LAST place.
The full weight of expectation became a reality and I could hardly breathe.
I had got the last place. I was the last person that had been selected to represent them. There were others who put forward their bid and mine won.
This is huge.
Charity places are like gold dust and with nearly a quarter of a million* applying to run next year and approximately 40,000 entries allowed, securing one of those place needs more than running ability.
I had a huge form to fill out  with all my details from why I was running - because my eldest son now 12 has epilepsy - to what  fund raising I had done in the past.
More importantly was how much fund raising I would be doing in the run up  to the marathon. What ideas did I have, what did I think each idea would raise, how I would go about hitting my target of £5,000. It was a kind of risk assessment, I suppose, aimed at testing out my resolve and how committed I would be during the whole process.
The London Marathon is the most successful annual single day charity fundraising event in the world and last year (for the ninth consecutive year running) a new world record of £54.1 million was raised.
No pressure then.
So as well as training for the Virgin London Marathon 2016, I will also be baking, busking, selling,  cleaning, collecting, organising and well, doing anything to hit that target...
I hope to raise more and to that end..well that's another story!

*A total of 247,069 people applied for a place in the 2016 Virgin Money London Marathon following the decision to keep the online ballot application system for 2016 open for five days. More than 55 per cent of the applications for 2016 were from people who have never run a marathon and more than 42 per cent of the applicants were women. In 1981, less than 300 of the finishers were women. More than 100,000 women have applied to run next year. Approximately 37,800 people ran the marathon in 2015 making it the biggest ever in its 35 year history. More than £770 million has been raised for charity in that time.

Go on you know you want to...


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