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Rich’s Unexpected Introduction to Running

27 September 2016

To celebrate the end of my first week of secondary school, I would have preferred a chocolate bar but instead our entire year was treated to a 2-mile run around the school.

So on a chilly Friday afternoon, I got changed into my games kit and lined up with 120 other boys for a race around our new school.  I’d never done any long distance running but a love of football had developed my stamina as I kept pace with kids who had legs almost twice as long as mine (I was probably the shortest in our year)!

As I approached the final straight, I was neck and neck with another boy who did something I didn’t expect. Looking to finish ahead of me, he held onto my arm and wouldn’t let go! With the teacher out of sight it was down to me to break free, so after a bit of a tussle, I was able to shake him loose and went on to cross the line before him. I didn’t know at the time but by winning this battle, I had claimed the final spot in our cross country team.

Now you may think this is the part of the story where I explain how this was the exact moment I fell in love with running but hold your horses there! It’s true, this moment changed my entire secondary school experience but I’m no Forrest Gump, that’s for sure.

As part of the team, EVERY Monday, Wednesday and Friday lunchtime consisted of changing into my cross country gear, running at least 2 miles and then rushing to eat my sandwiches before heading back to class. I wonder if that boy knew how lucky he was that I broke free of his grasp.

I did this for a fair few years, so I’ve racked up the miles but I’ve got to come clean here… I don’t really like running! But after running many miles for no particular reason, I’ve found something I do want to run for.

So this year, I’m tackling the Great Birmingham Run to support Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice. In the short time I’ve worked here as our Digital Officer (I look after our website and social media), I’ve discovered the difference we make to the families we support. Reading Ann’s blog made me realise how lucky I am to work alongside such amazing people and I want to do all I can to ensure they continue to be there for families like Ann’s.

So if it means lacing up those running shoes one more time, that’s what I’ll do. If you’d like to get involved too, there are all sorts of ways of supporting the Hospice from all of our events to getting together with friends and family.

Together, we can make a huge difference to local families living with terminal illness.