I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – for someone with my sporting past to not only be running multiple marathons in the space of just 6 months, but to be encouraging (or inspiring if you will) other people to get up, get active & get involved makes me feel really good. So when Megan from work said that she was interested in supporting the project by attempting her first ever 10k race & raising money for Help for Heroes, I was very impressed.
I’m pleased to say that not only did she survive to tell the tale (see below), but she raised over £100 in sponsorship, helping us reach ever closer to our £10,000 goal.
So THANK YOU Megan, you’re an absolute star & trooper, and I’m so appreciative of you getting involved like you did.
The morning of June 24th 2012 was one I had been dreading for a good three months. Despite training for at least four days a week, I still didn’t feel ready. I had been plagued with damaged ligaments and dodgy knees for a long time, but it seemed in the run up to the ‘We Love Manchester 10K’, they were adamant to stop me.
I signed up to the run in February, along with my boyfriend – also an ABa colleague – to challenge myself. Up until now, the farthest I have ever run is 5K…and I didn’t exactly run all of the way. I wasn’t a sport lover in school, I went as far as netball and often preferred a book to a ball, so you can imagine that I wasn’t the fittest, but as I’ve got older I’ve found a real love for running and the gym. So I took the 10K as a serious challenge, not necessarily to beat anybody – although to beat Simon would have been a sweet victory – but to beat myself and everything that was telling me I couldn’t run this. I got myself into a training routine of hard, long sessions at the gym, building my stamina and making sure my muscles could handle the pound of the pavements. All I could think about whilst running was why I was running at all. My work colleague Ben has been an extremely busy bee, working to raising an incredible ten thousand pounds for the inspirational charity ‘Help for Heroes’, so I thought it was only fitting I pull myself together and get raising as much as I could for such a brilliant cause. However, it wasn’t just Ben’s incredible drive and unbelievable spirit that pushed me to raise money for H4H, I myself, come from a military family.
To begin with, I come from Accrington, famous not only for the little boy asking, “Accrington Stanley…who the hell are they?” but also for Accrington Pals, who were several brave generations all sadly lost in WW1. My wonderful 86 year old granddad was an engineer in the RAF throughout World War II, and often told me stories of flying over countries, dropping food parcels to those in need and working on the planes. He is an absolute veteran and just one of the reasons I am so proud to be a part of the Mazzina-Adams household. Even my parents were part of the military at some point – in fact that is where they met twenty eight years ago, in the Royal Navy; my mum, a nurse, and my dad, a medical assistant, who also served with 45 Commando Royal Marines. I can’t say it was a career path that interested me, but when I began to understand the sheer scale of the wounds inflicted to thousands of soldiers, Marines and military personnel, I couldn’t help but think of the people my parents could have once worked with, the jobs they did and how much they needed our help.
My stomach was doing back flips I was so nervous, but I managed to wolf down a healthy plate of salmon, scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast and get moving. I met up with my work colleague Phil, as well as Simon who could no longer run the race, but came to support us. Everyone I looked at seemed to be a seasoned pro. There I was in my multicoloured rain mack and shorts, and everyone else seemed to look like Paula Radcliffe, I knew this wasn’t going to be easy, so in went the headphones and off went the claxon. Phil went striding off and I lost sight of everyone else I had spotted from work. I can honestly say I was so proud of myself for pushing through each kilometre. It wasn’t easy on the old injuries, but I managed to keep running and running, slowing myself right down to a power walk when I needed a breather. Before I knew it, I had completed my first five kilometres and was passing a very supportive Simon. I wanted to make him proud, I wanted to make Ben proud and I wanted to make the charity proud. I was already proud of myself. The hardest part of the run was easily eight to nine kilometres. It was painful and although I waited to catch a glimpse of the board to tell me how far I was along, it just didn’t want to show itself. Finally, and before I knew it, eight turned to nine and nine turned to ten. My first ten kilometre run was complete in one hour sixteen seconds. A number of other ABa members took part and managed amazing times, so a well done is definitely deserved for all.
I raised £106 altogether, now I don’t know what that will get a soldier in need, but I do know that it goes towards the £10,000 raised by the [21:21] Challenge to change thousands of futures for our wounded troops. A huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored me, and a huge congratulations to Ben and his incredible team for raising an incredible total, due to such wonderful generosity from family and friends. I achieved a huge goal for myself a few weeks ago, let’s hope someone else can achieve a bigger goal from the money raised.
Help for Heroes [21:21] Challenge