I Can’t Run Anymore – Will You Run For Me?
Crawley resident, 45 year-old Mark Lay has always loved running. Since his cancer diagnosis, he can no longer run but here, he and his wife Tricia, explain why you should use your London Marathon place to support your local hospice.
“The worst part of my illness is not being able to run, but if I can inspire you to support St Catherine’s then that’s the next best thing. I might not be able to run anymore but it’d be a real privilege if you’d run for me.
I’ve always been a runner. I ran the London Marathon for St Catherine’s in 2011 and 2013 and the Brighton Marathon for them in 2012. I never thought then that I’d be in need of their care myself just a few years later. In fact, I probably ran at least one marathon with cancer without knowing. That’s part of the reason I first noticed something was wrong. I was struggling with my running despite lots of training.
As soon as you join Team STCH, there’s a real team atmosphere and you won’t be alone. They help with training and fundraising, invite you to pasta parties and even put on a coach on race day to take you to the start line. If you choose to run for us, I and a team of people will be there to support you from start to finish and to remind you what a difference your support will make.
By supporting St Catherine’s you can double your achievement and complete the marathon not just for yourself but for the hospice and its patients – patients like me. You can do it for all of us who can no longer physically run, knowing that we’ll be willing you on every step of the way. We’re the people you’ll think about as you pound the pavements and we’ll help get you around when the going gets tough”.
“I’d never run before I started training; I couldn’t even run from the middle of the room to the door without doubling over. I joined up with my friend, Sarah and Mark trained us. We ran the marathon in a decent time of about five hours; everyone was so proud and people were so generous, we raised a lot of money and it was a really special time.
Mark says it’s one of his biggest achievements getting us round 26 miles! He’d make us run past St Catherine’s to remind us why we were doing it and while we were training we received amazing support. We always wore our blue hospice T-shirts while we were out and people would beep from their cars and shout things like ‘come on the hospice!’
The actual marathon day was really special. People cheering as you run keeps you going and it felt like a picnic with people giving you jellybeans and sweets. I remember running past Arg from Towie, but it was when we were overtaken by the Eiffel Tower that I knew we had to up our game! When I crossed the finish line, I felt giddy; it was just the most amazing feeling.
The support you receive when you run for St Catherine’s is amazing too. I’d definitely encourage other people to do it. I can do it, anyone can do it; everyone has a marathon in them.”