Challenges for Heather
Each member of the team from JH Mechanical Services has been challenged to walk or run 500 miles in the seven months between the beginning of April and the end of October to raise money for Secondary1st. Heather completed her 500 miles in less than eleven weeks. Then last weekend she and her friend Fiona took part in the Lake District 100km Challenge and finished third and fourth of all the women in the total of almost 1500 entrants. Here is Heather’s own account of the event:
Hi everyone! I took part in the Lake District 100km challenge on Saturday and I’m delighted to say that I got around just about in one piece!! Here’s a little summary of the day:
So, I ran with my friend Fiona and we had a plan, to do the distance as 2 x 50km’s over the Saturday and Sunday…. Not sure if it was the sun getting to us (it was bloody hot!), or the copious amount of sugar we consumed as we fuelled up, or whether the tumble I took at mile 11 knocked me a bit senseless (I have a habit of falling on my trail runs 🙄🙈!), but we both agreed that we’d prefer to go for it in one day….
I can honestly say that with 19 miles to go, and after ‘hitting the wall’ when I’d climbed the third mahoosive hill, I questioned whether I should have gone for the continuous run. However, I managed to get some food in me and carried on running for another 11 miles….
With 8 miles to go (14.46 hours in) we stopped at the last rest stop at Levens before the last big climb at Brigsteer and the big downhill into Kendal – only 8 miles to go, we said; simple, we said….but like many others at this point, I just physically couldn’t eat anything more. I couldn’t even speak except to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to questions. TOTAL RESPECT to the guy who past us on this stretch who, god bless him, was throwing up his meal at the last stop and still carried on running✊🏻✊🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻!!!).
We gritted our teeth and pushed on….By this time it was dark and we were on a mountain with a headtorch and glowsticks to show us the way; not a chance I could run with more rocks to fall over and with nothing left in the tank at all, so we walked it…
It is honestly the hardest thing physically I’ve had to do and it was a case of pushing through with grit and determination; funnily enough, it was the mind that was the challenging part rather than the legs at this stage – convincing myself that I CAN do this and having the sheer bloody-mindedness to carry on through field after field after field in the dark and NOT give up and let it beat me….A bit clichéd I know (sorry in advance), but this is the time when you think about all the people you love and what they mean to you; in all honesty for me it was my husband and the kids that got me over the finish line.
This experience has made me think about those we know who are fighting their own battles and demons every single day – whether they be cancer, mental health, autism, or many others – and of those amazing people who support those that they love through their struggles. My challenge was just one day; my admiration and total respect goes out to EVERY single person who takes on this battle every single day, those who never give up no matter how tough it gets, YOU are the absolute legends in my eyes!!!!
My friend and I came 3rd and 4th out of the women taking part and 55th and 56th respectively out of the 1,467 participants; I have to say I’m delighted with this unexpected result!!
Why do we put themselves through this, people may reasonably ask? Simple: each one of us has a very personal story of why we take part and push ourselves to our absolute limits; many of us are doing it for charities very close to our hearts. My challenge was for Secondary1st https://www.secondary1st.org.uk – let’s find a cure for this disease 💪🙌🏻🙌🏻!!