The primary reason for raising money for Heartbeat is that my Dad underwent a heart valve replacement operation last year and he cannot speak highly enough of the support and guidance he has received from Heartbeat. He still attends Heartbeat twice weekly for gym sessions and is benefitting hugely from the aftercare you provide.
From a personal point of view I took the decision 18 months ago that I really needed to sort myself out having got terribly unfit, overweight, eating unhealthy and a heavy smoker too! Therefore, I slowly changed my lifestyle and too my surprise found that running was a great way to keep fit.
I have/gradually built up the frequency and distances over the past 18 months so decided to enter the ballot for the Great North Run. To my shock, horror and surprise I was successful in the ballot entry but was subsequently stalked by a number of large well known charities ‘touting’ for my business. I therefore quickly decided to a) keep it local and b) raise money for a charity that has benefitted my family and that does not receive large scale donations, government help etc.
The only thing I needed to do now was train and raise the money!
The run itself was tough – far tougher than I expected which was largely due to the unseasonably warm weather conditions and what seemed like an endless incline. However, the North east crowd are amazing, cheering everyone on from start to finish. If you wanted you could benefit from items being handed out by spectators such as jelly babies, ice pops and I’m told even Beer!. Also, during the tough moments on the course you only need to look around you and see people for all shapes and sizes raising money for hundreds of worthwhile charities. The dedications to family members on the back of people’s running shirts are an inspiration.
So, 1 hour, 59 minutes and 30 seconds later I crossed the finish line. I’ve never been so happy to come 10,817th in my life. So far I’ve raised £1,288.
If you’re inspired by Peter’s story and would like to take on a challenge to raise money for Heartbeat, contact Mark on 01772 717 147 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.