That is a question I have been asking myself a few times since starting training…
But the reason I am running is to raise money for Headway the brain injury association.
In 2013 my friend Will suffered a brain bleed which left him in hospital for many weeks and when he finally returned home, his girlfriend Amy cared for him 24/7 including moving in with him – relocating from Poole to Gloucester. As the months went on Amy would tell me about a charity called Headway that provided help and support to the couple.
Being in London there wasn’t much I could do during the difficult times. So I decided I’d run a Half Marathon to raise money for Headway Gloucester who had been helping Amy and Will so much.
I’d never even ran a 10km race before and managed to persuade my boyfriend Stu to join me in the challenge. So in 2014 we ran the Vitality Hackney Half Marathon in EXTREME heat.
Stu hated it. But I fell in love with running. I enjoyed the feeling of being fit, I loved the excitement of races and I loved the accomplishment of covering so many miles using just my body.
I have Headway to thank for turning me into a runner as I don’t know if I would ever taken the plunge without doing it for such a great cause.
As much as I was enjoying running, a full marathon wasn’t for me. I mean quite honestly it is just INSANE to voluntarily run 26miles, so I stuck to my half marathons and 10kms.
Plus, Amy and Will were doing fantastically and even though Will still has to live with the effects of his brain injury everyday, things are moving in a positive direction.
On 24 April 2016 my Dad ran the London Marathon at the age of 51. The buzz was really exciting and it was a great day. I started to wonder… could I do it?
My Dad was amazing. He completed the London Marathon just 8 months after being knocked down on his bike by a car. He broke the side of his neck and his ear got mashed up!
On the awful day where Dad was knocked off his bike he was, like he always does, wearing his bike helmet. His helmet saved his life that day.
What I love about Headway is that they not only help people who have suffered a brain injury but they actively campaign to try and prevent brain injury. They are currently campaigning about the importance of wearing cycling helmets, this means so much to me as it was what saved my Dad!
Then one night I watch a Louis Theroux documentary called A Different Brain about people living with the long term effects of brain injury.
It made me realise that even though Amy and Will are okay now there are so many people who still need Headway’s help, support and expertise.
“I could run a marathon” I thought. “It would be hard and take a lot of work but I’m going to run the London Marathon and I’m going to do it for Headway!”
If there is ever something to stop me from giving up when it gets hard or when it’s too cold, it is to run for something that I totally believe in.
That night I applied to run the London Marathon for Headway and was delighted when they accepted me.
So here I am, ready to experience some of the hardest training months I’ve ever experienced; covering hundreds of miles through the weeks, giving up a large part of my social life and boring Stu, my friends and family about my running plans and thoughts (ARRGGHH).
But it will be worth it.
It’s also going to be a huge personal challenge and I’m proud to be doing it.
I can’t express enough how amazing a charity Headway are and I urge you to take a look at what they do.
I will keep you updated on the progress. Thanks for reading.
If you want to help me in my journey please sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.co.uk/SiobhanSharp .
To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here.
P.S. You can buy your Christmas Cards from Headway this year.