The purpose of it all
These results reverberated through my heart and mind as both a collection of many successes, and a failure of many sorts. I didn’t raise any where near what I set out to raise. I can’t put my finger on why, I know that many who run one capital-city marathon in any given year will have raised ten times the sum I managed.
This is one of the failures I keep tucked in my heart, that special place for humility, because it was the issue I really wanted to make a difference with; the appalling lack of funding for our mental health services and charities.
With hindsight, lots of things would have been different, but with hindsight I know that things had to turn out the way they did because I had personal lessons to learn.
I wasn’t afraid of mountains and trail (that bit does help), my first love is fell running and I always said I’d never run a road marathon because they’re dull and boring. Whilst some roads (the country ones without the white centre line) are magical routes, running on roads without adequate footpaths is something I never want to revisit voluntarily. They aren’t boring (well, they are), they are simply dangerous. I wasn’t afraid of the challenge and what it would do to me, I’ve already been to hell and back, and running isn’t it. But I was perhaps afraid to fail.
Being able to champion five very important national charities was part of the story as I travelled across the country. Coming across people who manage a mental illness or who have been affected by a family member of friend who is suffering, was a common story and one I could easily relate to. It brought the world closer around my shoulders and for several brief moments I felt part of a community no matter where I set foot.