I was a spectator at the Bournemouth marathon on Sunday 5 Oct 2014. I was there to shout for my old army friend, Steve Davis, who was running 26.2 miles for PLANETS Charity. When Steve found out I was living with Neuroendocrine Cancer, he immediately volunteered his services to help raise funds. Steve is a runner but when you are ’50 something’, running a marathon is no easy feat – not easy on your feet either 🙂
I had seen excerpts of marathons on television but this was my first time as a spectator at a live event. One thing that struck me was the sheer number of people who were running for good causes. The usual big names were there (Cancer Research, Macmillan, etc) but there were dozens of smaller charities also represented including PLANETS ( www.planetscharity.org ) Sure, there were many ‘professionals’ and the ‘fitness types’ who were there because they run marathons as a sport/pastime – but they were vastly outnumbered by people who were running to make a statement and to raise money for their chosen charities.
The ‘statement makers’ were big, small, tall, short, long hair, short hair and some with no hair. To me some of them did not look like they would be able to run 26.2 miles. However, their presence there meant they had made the commitment. If you want to witness the meaning of pride, determination, relief and happiness all bundled into one, simply go and look at the faces of people as they cross the finish point of a marathon. If you also want to be moved, go to a live marathon. I saw a blind man running who was attached to a ‘guide’ and I saw ladies who had clearly just undergone (or were undergoing) chemotherapy. Many people had the names of family and friends emblazoned on their running tops and the one which made me frantically ‘blink’ was a lady who had clearly lost a child through some illness.
I think all cancer patients and those who have been touched by this terrible disease will join me in thanking everybody who steps up and commits their time and effort to make money for charities all over the world. It is really very much appreciated.
I found the whole day quite humbling and my emotions were certainly tweaked.
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