With A Little Help From My Friends

20130423-223808.jpgAs I posted yesterday, what really helped me through the London Marathon on Sunday was dedicating a mile to different people who hold a special place in my heart. Here goes ….

1) Matthew Robbins – my Godson who is going to be christened in a few weeks time. Beginning of a wonderful little life

2) Sebastian – My cousin who was also running that day

3) Lu Lingzi – One of the spectators killed at the Boston Marathon

4) Hannah my niece – A beautiful and talented young woman about to take her GCSEs – a bright future awaits her

5) My Brother David – The most genuine person I know

6) Grampa – All round legend and head of the best family you could ever hope for

7) My cousin Matthew – Just about to start University – Whatever he does, this lad will go very far indeed

8) Kristel Campbell – Another spectator at the Boston Marathon

9) Jodie – A fantastic friend living in Canada who I wish I could see more often

10) Ellie & Alan – For just being the best friends anyone could wish to have

11) My Cousin Rose – An immensely talented young lady just about to finish uni and get into life

12) My sister Caroline – Really got behind this whole project with such enthusiasm and fantastic mother to Hannah (no4)

13) Martin Richards – the eight year boy old killed while watching his Dad finish the Boston Marathon

14) My Dad – Because he’s my Dad and just fantastic

15) Amy & Geoff – Soon to be married – wishing them the very best in married life

16) My cousin Austin and his fiancé Laura. Also soon to be married and wishing them a very happy future

17) The Boston Marathon

18) My Mum – Who flew over from Northern Ireland to come and cheer me on and who couldn’t have done more to support me in this endeavour

19) Becky – this was my ‘cramp’ mile so who better to dedicate it to than someone who causes me pain and irritation ONLY JOKING! My own Ms motivator who I love dearly

20) For my legs – just praying they would start working again!

21)To Sarah – One of my oldest friends who is taking on the Belfast Marathon in a few weeks

22) My Auntie Anne – my fairy Godmother who masterminded a huge fundraising event

23) My nephew Callum – Who told me he’d got a medal running at school very far and very fast – future marathoner?

24) The Griffin family in London and N. Ireland – Who got behind this 100%

25) Granny – Hoping every step was doing her proud. I had her picture pinned to my back and her broach pinned to my front. Whenever it got tough I looked at it, put my head down and kept going

26) Everyone who sponsored me or sent messages of support. I ran out of miles to mention everyone individually, and at this stage, I’m not prepared to do an ultra marathon to fit everyone in!

Other good things about the day – beating Katherine Jenkins and Ed Balls 🙂

Click here to find out why I was doing this and to sponsor the shuffle



The Post I Never Wanted To Write

So, this is where I explain the week-long absence from my blogging challenge.

Last Friday morning, my wonderful grandmother passed away. She died peacefully, holding the hand of her husband to whom she was married for 63 years and in a room filled with her closest family members who she loved completely.

My grandmother was the inspiration behind my initial half marathon challenge in February 2012 to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society – a condition Granny endured with dignity and grace. I am pleased that her suffering is over and she is at peace, however, her passing has left an aching hole in our family and my poor grandfather says he feels like one of his limbs is missing.

Literally hundreds of people have visited the family home to pay their last respects and talk about how she had impacted upon their lives. We estimate over 500 people attended her thanksgiving service which was the most uplifting, positive Church experience of my life. I overheard the same phrase again and again – she was just a real lady.

In amongst all the tears we’ve shared, there have been many laughs and many opportunities to grow. I’ve talked to my cousins and extended family with a vulnerability and honesty which we’ve never experienced before, I’ve seen a body in a coffin for the first time, I’ve spoken at a funeral for the first time, I’ve seen ashes placed in a crypt. I sat on the bed beside Granny’s coffin and shared a glass of wine with my uncle and cousin, all three of us laughing and crying as we shared stories and memories of this remarkable woman who has left us with so much.
This week has made me even more determined to conquer the London Marathon in April. Again, this is raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society to fund research and support into this awful condition that currently has less randomised control trials into it than hayfever.
If you would like to support this challenge – feel free to click on the link. It’s ambitious, but I’d love to match the £2000 we raised last February. What’s ultimately a better thing to do if you don’t want to give money, and if you’re lucky enough to have your Granny still with you, tell her you love her this weekend.
Normal daily blogging adventures will now resume until The Big Day.
Hope I do you proud Granny


Day Fifty Eight

My dad is a chef. He’s a truly a wonderful cook and always likes to experiment. His experiment this lunchtime gave rise to experience number 58. For some reason, known only to him, Dad thought it would be a good idea to substitute Mallibu for Sherry in our mushroom soup ??!? Dad – I love you, I respect you, but that REALLY didn’t work!


Day Fifty Three

It is an absolutely miserable day in Northern Ireland – wind, rain and a weather warning make for a day you’d be tempted to curl up in front of the fire and wish you were in California. However, I’ve braved the weather and headed to The Big City to meet my grandparents for my first lunch-time concert at the Ulster Hall in Belfast.

Definitely a good choice.

My grandparents are absolutely incredible. Grampa is 89 and still taking himself off to every Ulster match at Ravenhill – legend. Love spending time with them.