With tens of thousands of spectators lining the streets, cheering, while you weave past London’s most iconic landmarks, running the London Marathon is an incredible experience many dream of.
However, the 26.2 mile challenge which last year saw 23C heat is not for the faint-hearted and we’re very much in awe of the runners.
With just over 5 months to go until the next one, we spoke to one of our courageous runners, Michelle, to find out what inspired her to take on the famous course and why she choose to run for Wellbeing of Women.
You can sponsor Michelle here
Q.Can you tell us why you decided to enter the London Marathon 2019?
I have never really considered myself a ‘runner’ and I’m not exaggerating when I say I literally had to start from scratch! The first race I ever ran was the British 10K in 2017 to raise money for Wellbeing of Women, and although it was a bit of a struggle at that time, I just loved the whole experience! The sun was shining, everyone was in great spirits, and it made it even more special knowing I was doing it for such a great cause. It was after that that I really fell victim to the running bug, going on to complete a half-marathon earlier this year. I remember watching the London Marathon on TV a few weeks before and being truly inspired by the runners of all ages and abilities taking part and raising so much money for charity. Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to submit an application and am absolutely delighted to be joining the Wellbeing of Women team for London 2019!
Q. And why is Wellbeing of Women close to your heart?
I’ve had the privilege to work in women’s health for several years, and more recently in clinical research setting, so have seen first-hand the difference that improved treatments and services can make to the lives of women and their families. The project I am currently involved with aims to improve and enhance contraceptive choice to women after childbirth, by training midwives and doctors to provide intrauterine contraception around the time of delivery. As a relatively new technique to the UK, gaining the expertise necessary to deliver and expand this service has only been possible through a research grant co-funded by Wellbeing of Women.
Most women will engage with healthcare services at multiple points during their life – whether during pregnancy, routine cervical screening, treatment for gynaecological problems, accessing contraception or during menopause. It is a sad fact that funding for research into women’s health is proportionately lower than many other areas of healthcare. To ensure that women and their families are offered the best care for generations to come, we need to do everything we can to preserve and enhance research in this field. This is one of the key aims of Wellbeing of Women and that’s why the cause is very close to my heart.
Q. What are your fears and hopes for your training and for the big day itself?
Like most first-time marathon runners, I think my main fear is not being able to finish. I’ve heard about the infamous psychological ‘wall’ that often strikes in the last few miles. I think it’s as much about mental endurance as it is physical, so I’m looking at ways to help with that. A nice idea I read about was to asking friends and family to suggest songs for a running playlist, then when the song comes on during the race you think of them and it gives you a psychological boost!
Well all we can say is good luck Michelle and we can’t wait to follow your journey!
You can sponsor Michelle here