Battling the Brighton Marathon for Jewish Care

10 Apr 2017

As a child I volunteered at the London Marathon by handing out bottles of water. This is when I first realised that I would one day like to run a marathon.

In December 2016 I started at Jewish Care as the Digital Marketing Manager. I signed up for the Brighton Marathon, which seemed the perfect opportunity to raise funds for my new organisation.

I put in a decent amount of training, mostly running from our office in Golders Green to my home in Tooting. I felt reasonably well prepared for the big day.

The night before the race I stayed at Jewish Care's Hyman Fine Care Home. I spoke with residents and discussed stories from their past. It gave me inspiration to know that that the sponsorship I raised would go to help the people I met.

As I stepped up to the start line, I weighed up the daunting challenge of running 26.2 miles through the roads of Brighton and Hove. 

Sometimes things just don't go as we would like. I set off  far too quickly and ignored all of the advice to pace myself and I soon paid the price. By 10k I was ready to call it a day, the sun was beating down and my muscles were beginning to feel tired. By around the 8/9th mile I was suffering from cramp in both legs. The thought of completing another 18 miles seemed impossible but I dug deep and failed to give in. I never recovered from the cramp and had to change my running style accordingly. 

I was elated to see a group of my friends around the 12 mile mark, which brought instant smile to my face and helped me towards the half way marker. The thought of completing the same distance again seemed unrealistic. I was now restricted to walking large parts of the run.

By mile 14 I was in desperate need of some motivation and fortunately for me this came in the form of Martin. Martin was running for Cancer Research and I could see from his jersey that he was running in memory of Sarah. I turned to Martin and said: "she'd be really proud of you." We then started to talk, he was having similar pain in his knees and back as I was with my legs. I learnt that Martin was running his first marathon in memory of his sister who passed away last year. His touching story helped me forget about the pain I was feeling and together we trotted around the next few miles. We joked that our next challenge would probably be on a bike and it was time to hang up our running trainers.

Befriending Martin really helped me get round the next few miles of the course. What at some stages had seemed an impossible challenge, suddenly seemed possible. As we approached 21 miles I told Martin to go on as my legs were offering very little. Unfortunately I didn't get to see Martin again but I just want to say thank you to him and congratulations on a remarkable achievement, I imagine his family must be incredibly proud. 

I could now see Brighton Pier in the distance, at this stage my body was moving but the finish didn't seem to be getting any closer. I saw my group of my friends again who rallied round and encouraged me on. This really helped to give me some much needed energy. I told them: "my legs have given up, they aren't working anymore" but I knew the finish line was not far off. As I headed down Brighton seafront I then saw my girlfriend and family, which brought a big smile to my face! My girlfriend proceeded to run the last half mile with me before she was ushered off by a steward. I was finally there... I felt a mixture of emotions as I crossed the finish line but more than anything I felt proud.

I can't express enough gratitude for all of the people who supported by donating and for all of those who cheered on the day. I couldn't have done it without every single person who called out my name and handed me sweets. I am incredibly proud to say that I've now completed a marathon, noone can ever take that away!

It's not too late to donate: bit.ly/2mBzYXC