Well I’m far too stiff today to manage the celebratory forward roll which has become traditional in the office whenever there is something wonderful for us to celebrate as a church, in fact I couldn’t even put my own socks on this morning, but I did do a careful standing spin when I worked out the final total to date raised for the marathon run.
Yesterday was to be honest really pretty awful at times, the first 5 miles my back was still sore. You may know I pulled it running on a treadmill on Thursday, and by Saturday morning I couldn’t even weight bear, so it really was thanks to prayer and a (Christian) osteopath that I even got to the start line. I’d decided if my back didn’t get better I would just have to run it on my own sometime soon but really didn’t want to do that.
The conditions were terrible but the back pain kind of eased off a bit as I ran and blended generally as other body parts got sore and in fact I hit 10 miles in quite a good time (1:31).
At about 15 miles I made the mistake of taking my coat off and giving it to Zoe which positively meant people could see my name written on my chest and cheer me on, which was great (Manchester people were wonderful, standing out in freezing and at times torrential rain to encourage us). The least encouraging thing I got was someone saying, ‘Hurry up – there’s a girl beating you’. Negatively, I was more exposed to the horrible cold and wet, Dunham Massey and various roads around it were a quagmire – more like cross country!
The weather was bad enough to have stopped thousands of people who’d paid £50 or so to enter from even turning up so there were far fewer than the 8000 expected. Hundreds of people didn’t finish because of hypothermia and I didn’t stop shivering for about an hour after I finished.
At various points along the way I’d be greeted by lots of various cheering Ivy people too who were amazing – thank you! Quite a few Ivyers were also running the marathon well done to them all. I crossed 23 miles just before 4 hours, but then the last three miles were torture as I kept getting cramp trying to kick in so had to wait it out and stretch, then plod on again.
Various things were happening spiritually…
A lot of prayer to just keep going!
A sense that every step was progressing us forward in God’s purposes
Gratitude and love for the city, its people and of course our church just kept welling up. Quite emotional at times!
Whenever I thought I’d have to give up I thought about the kids in Haiti, all they’ve been through, and told myself to man up.
Realising the importance of self-talk. If I flagged, I would start to tell myself, ‘You can do this! I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!’
So while the eventual time of 4:40:30 isn’t one to remember, the day itself really was unforgetable.
Oh, one more thing. While the marshalls and stewards were fantastic, the ‘organisers’ Xtra mile have been slated (justifiably) for not organising. The worst example perhaps was the bags with personal belongings which they were supposed to look after just pitched out in the mud outside a tiny tent at the end, without even a system or helpers to retrieve your bag. Thousands of freezing exhausted people getting soaked looking at piles of white plastic bags that all looked the same – having to bend over and look for tiny numbers with frozen fingers. Not good.
My phone was in my bag somewhere and I needed to get to Zoe quick as I was shaking and soaked. At that point I couldn’t even remember my number because of brain freeze then I recalled it was on my chest. 5470. I closed my eyes and prayed, ‘Lord PLEASE help me find my bag.’ Opened them and saw at the bottom of one pile the number 470 sticking out. Walked over to it and straightened the tag – 5470!!! Come on!!
Now at the latest count (unless you know different and want to sponsor me now at … http://www.justgiving.com/ADelaney )
…adding in the money collected yesterday morning at the Vue cinema while I was running
…the total amount raised to help Ivy move back to Didsbury and to help the children at the Wesleyan mission church at Leogane, Haiti through Compassion, with the ridiculous target of £35,000 is…
Drum roll please…
£31,551.57 and with Gift Aid included that is…
If you can forward or even backward roll for me, please do.