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Lorraine Read’s story: Why I ran a marathon

In 2018 I was fortunate enough to secure a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon through Southampton Hospital Charity. 

Taking part in this race had always been a dream of mine. I turned 50 last September and felt that if I didn’t get the chance now, I probably would never do it!

I work within cancer care in Southampton General Hospital, and so was aware that the Cancer Information and Support Centre (Macmillan Centre) needed help as the centre relies solely on donations, and has no central funding. I lost my mum very suddenly to cancer, and the centre supported me through a really difficult time. It was a cause very close to my heart.

I have watched the Virgin Money London Marathon on the TV for many years and thought ‘I would love to do that,’ so I pledged to raise £5,000.

Then for the hard part ...the training! The furthest distance I had ever run was a half marathon at 13.1 miles, so I knew I had to up the training. 

This proved to be challenging as it turned out to be the longest winter with snow settling twice in Southampton! I also suffered with plantar fasciitis (inflammation in the sole of my foot) and sciatica in the same leg.

Although I initially felt daunted by the challenge of fundraising and the amount I set myself, the support from patients, my colleagues, and staff on C3 Hamwic Ward, was overwhelming. From bake sales, raffles, pub crawls, and games such as ‘guess the bear’s name’.

The actual day of the marathon was amazing. The atmosphere and support around the course was fantastic. I managed to complete the run in five hours and 54 minutes despite it being the hottest London Marathon on record. It was hard, but it was an amazing experience and one that I feel privileged to have been a part of. 

Overall I raised £10,198.79 (including Gift Aid), and am truly delighted I managed to smash my fundraising target!

If you have been successful in the ballot for a place in the 2019 Virgin London Marathon, please run for Southampton Hospital Charity. They enhance the support, care and treatment of patients at University Hospital Southampton. Call them today on 023 8120 8881.

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