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Running in the Edinburgh Marathon 2009

My Blogging turned to jogging over the winter months…read on to find out what I was running for.

The Beginning: My mum was diagnosed with RA in her late forties. Now 67yrs of age she has been quite poorly with it, curtailing her movements so much so that she finds it extremely painful and hard to pick things up with her hands and just doing the normal every day chores that we all take for granted. It takes her hours to get moving in the mornings and that’s often after very uncomfortable sleepless nights of awful aching pain. Yet she is the most uncomplaining lovely person that I have ever known. I’m now 44 yrs old and it was quite scary to think it was quite possible that soon my life could dramatically change for the worse with something like RA which appears to come totally out of the blue and not really bothered what age its victims are;[ actually to call it arthritis is a little misleading, it is associated with the bodies defence mechanisms, a sort of auto-immune disease. Many theories have arisen through research by the medical profession or others who have a personal interest in not only finding a cure but also finding out how it occurs]…. But I know for a fact that I would be the worse patient in the world…. everyone would definately hear me complaining!!Apart from being a potential complainer my other habit is that I always have to think of mad things to do with my spare time, I get fidgity. Why can’t I just go for a nice stroll in the park, snuggle up with a good book or even watch telly for heavens sake? No, thats far too straight forward. So I guess it was in one of those ‘fidgity’ moments that I ended up on the telephone to my sister Nicki in Looe, Cornwall last november asking her whether she fancied doing the Edinburgh marathon with me….there was a pause……………. long enough to think that she had just hung up on my nuisance call, then she hesitantly said, ‘well, I suppose I could, and after all if you’re doing it for mum then well yes, definately count me in! Ten minutes later she rang back, ‘Jim (her husband) said that he’s up for it too’. so then there were three.


The Training
: Training started at the end of November and the beginning of a long cold, snowy winter in Scotland with dark mornings and darker evenings. It was hard to get out there at the end of the day to grunt my way into some kind of shape and on many occasions a pair of ski’s complete with down jacket and fur-lined gloves would have been more apt. Luckily I had a few day sessions and the weekends to run in so I could at least see where I was going on occasions. But the winter soon turned into spring, albeit a cold and frosty one, the days stretched out and I stretched out my runs. Nicki and Jim were well into their routines back in Looe and we would phone each other to compare aches and pains and the mental challenge we had to face to get ourselves out there running the roads. We all had our set-backs with injuries, winter colds and work commitments but we stuck with it as the big day drew ever closer.

The Big Day: Sunday 31st may 09, Edinburgh marathon day. Up to this weekend the weather had been indifferent and pretty cold but this weekend it was a heatwave! [in Scotland??] We were up at 6.30am eating porridge laced with bananas, pecan nuts and honey just like the Three bears.Then it was a short drive to the centre of town and to where we would quickly find the toilets to relieve our full bladders [we only had a wee on leaving the house just 15 minutes ago!] then join ranks with the other crazy thirteen thousand or so runners. Into our ‘slow pen’ we were herded along with the relay teams and fancy dressers. The sun scorched down on us as we tried to shade ourselves behind a 6ft 7in man in front of us [thanks for keeping our drink bottles cool whoever you were] as we waited our turn to be let loose to the start line, 9.15am, with bladders already full again [it can only be psychosomatic!] we were off! The three of us had a big hug and planned to meet up at the end somehow.

There was no room for a while to start running but slowly the hoards of bodies began thinning out as everyone set gently into their pace.Neither Nicki, Jim or me had ever run with a crowd before or even in a race of any description and had never ran more than 18 miles in our training, so it was all new territory. I carried a small bottle of water with me and at every water stop and fuel station replenished with one to drink and one to pour over me, constantly telling myself to ‘keep it real steady’. In fact I wasnt quite sure how to pace it but felt determined to run every step of the 26.2miles.

It was the halfway mark and I felt ecstatic, incredibly before my eyes the elite marathon professionals were already on the home straight, amazing stuff these guys and girls are made of. As I neared the 18 and 20 mile markers, the crowds were building, cheering, clapping and armed with jelly babies, wine gums, oranges and hosepipes of cooling water for us as we passed by, they were fantastic. Thanks to everyone of you and your smiling, cheering faces that spurred us on and got us through.

A few casualties of the heat were being tended to along the roadside here and there and kept me from getting too carried away and eccelerating to soon [I have been prone to such behavior] At the twenty six mile point I could not contain myself any longer and sprinted the last .2miles[that was the illusion but I’m sure it was just a fast hobble] to the finish line with a massive grin on my face and tears of joy in my eyes….I did it!!We all did it! and as Nicki said, ‘well I guess you could really say we’ve been there, done it and got the T.shirt!.

The BIG THANKYOU: to everyone, friends, family and colleagues who sponsored us and believed in us:To our wonderful mum who could not make it to Edinburgh but was with us all the way:To my partner Paul who also entertained the kids on the day. Thanks for your support…You’re a gem!

Big hugs from the Three Bears…Sally Eathorne, Jim Rickards and Nicki Eathorne.

If you or anyone you know suffers from RA and you need some help or advice on any matters visit the link below. They are a good bunch!

http://www.rheumatoid.org.uk/

Here are some pics of the three of us in action! Well I am actually ‘missing in action’ as my photographer boyfriend was on his way on a bus and stuck in traffic so this is me just after receiving my medal

Makes you hungry all this running mallarky!

Nicki; truly triumphant at the finish line

Jim; Homeward bound

Jim, Sally and Nicki enjoying their moment of glory!

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