Meet Sian, our PR Officer at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. Sian had never been a runner but last year she ran 13.1 miles for the Hospice. Find out how she went from i-Marathon to half marathon by reading her story below…

I’ve never been one to regularly exercise. Like a lot of people, I find balancing work, networking, spending time with family and seeing friends takes up most of the hours in my day, leaving very little time to fit exercise in. The thought of spending hours in a gym with no goal was unappealing and to be honest, a little overwhelming.   

But as I start to get older, and my health becomes a priority, I knew I wanted to get moving more and introduce exercise into my day-to-day life. That’s why Birmingham St Mary’s ‘i-Marathon’ was perfect for me.

The i-Marathon saw me run 26.2 miles across the month of October. I decided to run two miles at a time, three to four days a week. It felt challenging but not too daunting and by doing it for a local charity – in which I would be asking friends and family to sponsor me – I knew that I couldn’t give up after day one. 

To begin with, I found running two miles in one session really tough. It was a freezing cold October and so my motivation was pretty low. However, when I saw the money coming into my Give Penny page and the messages of support, I knew I couldn’t let my loved ones down. So I decided to take my running to the gym.

Soon enough, my miles started to clock up and as I reached the halfway mark, I felt a real sense of ‘I can do this’. What I wasn’t expecting was to be enjoying the running! I was really surprised at how easy it was to introduce exercise into my everyday activities and suddenly, the thought of doing it regularly didn’t seem so demanding. On 31st October I ran my 26th mile and I couldn’t of been more proud…I did it!

Not only had I managed to run a marathon across one month but I had also caught the running bug – I couldn’t believe it. So when I heard about the Great Birmingham Run, I decided to set myself this bigger and more difficult challenge. Running 13.1 miles in one afternoon was tough and 12 months before, it would have felt impossible. But I did it and it was one of the most thrilling experiences ever with the whole of Birmingham lining the streets to cheer all of us on.

Helping me to cross the finish line was knowing that the money I raised was going towards Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. I’ve worked at the Hospice for over 2 years now and every day, I’m humbled to see how our nurses, therapists, doctors and more help so many people to live well with life-limiting illness. As over 60 per cent of our funding comes from generous voluntary donations, I know that every penny I raised really made a difference.

Thank you Sian for sharing your story with us! If you would like to sign up to the i-Marathon, take a read here.