Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Run to the Beat

A calm and beautiful morning on the Thames
On Sunday, 8th September, Rose took place in the Run to the Beat Marathon in London, to raise funds for the phaUK, the charity that has given our family much support over the last three years since I was diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension. Her boyfriend, David, was also taking part to raise funds for multiple sclerosis. It is a half marathon, with over 19,000 runners taking part, starting and finishing in London's Greenwich Park. During the marathon, there is music playing to keep the runners' motivation going and help create a fabulous atmosphere.  

It was an early start, Rose and David were up early to eat breakfast before seven, then they would have some fuel for the run. The weather was looking good, it was a beautiful start to the day. By 8.30am they were on their way from Canary Warf, where we all stayed the night before so our journey wouldn't be too onerous the following morning, and they were making their way across to Greenwich where the marathon was to take place. They texted us to let us know they were ready and in their start positions by 9.45am.

The next step of the plan, if I felt well enough to do it, was for us then to start making our way across to Greenwich too and luckily I felt at my best this morning. I had had a very up and down week and just getting into London on the Saturday had been a real strain. We were worried about how we would cope with my wheelchair and how I would cope too amongst all the crowds of people, both on the railway and at the event, so Rob had done a lot of research where it might be best for us to stand and catch a glimpse of Rose without getting too caught up in the crowds. We didn't really know what to expect as no one in our family has competed in a marathon before, but we did anticipate crowds! We also had to try and perfect the timing, so we would be there in time to see Rose, but not so early that it might get too much for me to manage.

So with some precision planning on my husband's part, we found our way easily to Greenwich with me in my wheelchair; the Docklands Light Railway being very wheelchair friendly with lifts at either end of our journey. We had Sarah and Oli with us, so that made things a lot easier too. We managed to find a good position at the 11th mile and knew Rose was still about fifteen minutes away. It felt exciting just to have made it there, the atmosphere was buzzing, music pulsing and crowds cheering the runners on as they got near the end of their journeys. It felt an inspiring and electrifying place to be and I had to pinch myself that I had actually made it into London and then across to Greenwich and was actually there. They managed to get my wheelchair to the front with no problem and I had a 'birds eye' view of everything, I think they were all a little jealous as I got to sit, a bit like being in my very own royal box!

It wasn't long before Rose and David came running up, still looking fresh and full of energy and they managed to see us all as we cheered them along. Caught up in all the euphoria, Sarah and Oli decided to try and get to the finish line and see them finish, so off they went on ahead. Lingering behind in my wheelchair, but feeling really good, I was game to try too, although lots of people were doing the same and the crowds were getting busier.  Rob managed to weave in and out of the crowds with me in tow, sometimes doing a little sprint himself until I thought my wheelchair might actually break! He raced me up Greenwich Hill and we managed to stop and glimpse Rose and David flying past yet again and then another glimpse of them going up the hill, which was a bit of a hike on the last part of their journey. Sarah and Oli then saw them reach the finish line and cheered them through. We managed to get there just afterwards, which was no mean feat with a wheelchair, the crowd and a hill!

We then got caught up in the crowds a bit, but Rob did a good job of manoeuvring me around and we eventually found Rose, who was miraculously standing a few seconds away from us in the crowd unbeknown to us! Then it was all downhill back down to Greenwich Village. We followed a snake of turquoise green T shirts weaving their way down the hill, just as we had chased a sea of turquoise green  going all the way up it.  Here we all met up again eventually and had a rest and drinks at the Maritime Museum; David's parents and sister joined us too and I don't think Rose and David could quite believe they had completed the marathon and got their medals after all that hard work and training throughout the summer. We were one very proud pair of families!

Outside the Maritime Museum

Views from Greenwich Park


Greenwich Hill
Rose completed the marathon in two hours twenty eight minutes and has managed to raise £2,275 so far for the phaUK and we all had a fantastic day out into the bargain too! A big thank you to all the many people who kindly sponsored Rose. We have been overwhelmed by your kindness and generosity.   

There is still time to sponsor Rose through her Just Giving page below: 


  1. Yeyy, This is AWESOME Kath! I'm so chuffed to hear they did it and you and Rob should definitely be proud finishing a marathon is no mean feet! :D


  2. Thanks Stacie, we are very proud and we had such a fantastic time!