This year CCPA was offered their first ever charity place in the Virgin Money London Marathon. Carla Smith describes what it was like to run her first ever marathon
“Wow!! It still hasn’t sunk in yet that I’ve run a marathon, but just any marathon the the London Marathon! And during a heatwave too!
I feel truly honoured and so incredibly lucky to be the first to run this for CCPA
To run a marathon is something that has been on my bucket list for a few years now. A dream that I felt maybe I might never accomplish. I did have my doubts: will I be able to go the distance?
I am a single mother with 4 children who works: will I have time to train?
I have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and another who is going through the process of a diagnosis too: have I got enough on my plate?
Well if I can do this, I hope other people feel inspired!
Highs and lows
I think you see humanity at its best running. Everyone running and raising money for all good causes. To the spectators who are all rooting for you the whole way round. To the St John Ambulance with their Vaseline and the other runners who are so supportive. When everyone says the spectators are amazing, I’ve not experienced anything like it. When your family aren’t around they are the next best thing. To the kids high fiving, to the lady in the bikini and the guys in speedos – lying in deck chairs, sipping beer and shouting at mile 3 “not far!” They really made me smile during my highs and lows.
I think you never feel overly confident you can do this, or you doubt yourself all the time. Have I done enough training? But reflecting back on this, I believe I needed this challenge in my life, and it truly was one. But I did it. And the sense of achievement – I was on cloud 9.
When you are running longer distances, I think you can’t help but feel emotional at times. You think about your family and why you are doing this. I had a little break down at mile 23. I was drawn to a guy running for another children cancer charity I just said to him “we are both running for a good cause.” And I didn’t see it coming, I just exploded with flood of tears. He just said the right things to me. His strength rubbed on me, which made me get those last 3.2miles done.
I was never giving up. It was never in my vocabulary. The spectators just pick on your emotions too. When I was really going for it they were shouting “Go Carla! That’s it, you’re flying!”
I always think of my runs as little adventure. And this was one! You just don’t know what is around the corner; its exciting.
The highlights for me was the crazy fancy dress. Everyone was warned not to wear it with the weather being so hot. But, it was everywhere: Scooby Do, Superman, Firemen, Darth-Vader and I was following a black witch for ages! There was a guy with a tumble dryer on this back, and I had a lot of rhinos around me too!
I was in awe seeing an 80yr old runner (he must have had a bad back by the end with the amount of pats on the back fellow runners were giving him!).
The sad part though was seeing some runners on the floor. It does affect your emotions and makes you worry about your own health. You can’t help but feel empathy for them.
Running a marathon takes you through your emotions. You learn about yourself. That you are stronger than you think Would I do another marathon? I sure am! I’m running Manchester next year – its all booked. The satisfaction and runner’s high is infectious, it contagious.
So if you have the opportunity to run the London Marathon, grab it with both hands and run with it. Its amazing. Its inspiring, it truly is. My dad felt so inspired that he has chosen to run his first 10k for CCPA: I feel very proud.
Thank you CCPA, Rachael, Amanda, CCPA Super Stars and TeamGold. For your support, believing in me, giving me this opportunity I am going to be forever grateful!”
Inspired to run or take up your challenge for CCPA – give Rachael a call on 01785 283435 to talk about how to make it happen.