After about 52 weeks of planning, I took part in the Oxford Half Marathon on Sunday 16th October.
Over the years, I am normally an active walker or cyclist but running isn't something I generally like doing.
This could be down to the thought of running out of breath after 5 minutes or the fear that I would pass out but last year my friend Paul Mcgregor took part in 8 marathons in 8 days in 8 different UK locations which I took part in for a small 5 miles in the London event.
I then saw one of my friends Stuart and several other friends of mine took part in the Oxford Half Marathon last year so it really got me thinking about taking part this year.
One late evening I decided to email Emma Rayner to look into getting The Lucy Rayner Foundation involved.
After several emails, we found out that we had to get a minimum of 5 to get proper spaces.
Since then I have been on a massive campaign to get people on board.
We managed to secure a big group of us.
Sadly we do have a couple of runners missing from this photo but they were there.
Running my first Half Marathon, I didn't know what to expect and to be honest I put so much pressure on myself as I am a type of person who wants things to go well.
Due to other commitments, my training was struggling to be honest on the lead up to the big day but in the end I decided to enjoy every moment that happened and knowing I had a team with me at different points really helped as I knew I wasn't doing it alone.
My overall timings for the day was 2 hours 40 minutes but considering I walked for most of it as I struggled in the 2nd half, I am really proud of that achievement.
For a couple of days afterwards, I was feeling sore to walk around but making sure I keep moving and resting, the pain has worn off.
As this was a charity race, we as a group needed to try as much money that we can and we completely smashed our target.
On the Friday before the big day, I went into BBC RADIO OXFORD studios to promote my fundraising to all their listeners.
Sadly not much came from that but being able to have the opportunity to actually talk about my work, makes it all worth while.
I want to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to David for having me on his show.
If anyone missed my interview last week then here it is.
Go to 3 hours 20 minutes 30 seconds and I should be on there.
This broadcast will only be available for about a month.
You will need an account to listen.
After weeks and weeks of campaigning with my fundraising, I can confirm that we have raised an OUTSTANDING £2283.
The money you have raised for The Lucy Rayner Foundation will help so many people who are suffering with Mental Health Illnesses.
Losing my Mum when I was 11 was very hard for me to deal with and I never had the support I should have done.
Through hard work and determination I am in a much stronger position now.
Being able to work so closely with a Mental Health charity really means a lot and being able to help others who are struggling really makes the work I do worth it.
I don't get paid for any of this and I use my own money to keep this platform going.
Next year I will be designing a brand new website which I am so excited in showing you all.
The Lucy Rayner Foundation have commented saying 'The money that Steve and the group have raised will help so many people. Last month, we have seen over 100 people in our free counselling service.
That was over £15,000 spent on counselling in September alone.
Every penny that you have raised through donations does really make a difference'
If you are interested in taking part in the Oxford Half Marathon in 2023 to help fundraise for The Lucy Rayner Foundation, get in touch with either Emma (email@example.com) or Myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info or click here to register your interest. All details will be passed over to the charity and you will get an email from them over the coming weeks.
I just want to say a personal THANK YOU to everyone who took part in this years Oxford Half, donated on our fundraising page and/or sent messages of support.
It made me feel so proud and emotional when I jogged over the finish line.
I would also like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to Limelight Sports Club for setting up the event and allowing hundreds of people fundraise for different causes as it is events like these which really make a difference to the world.
If you would like to find out more about The Lucy Rayner Foundation then click here to visit their website.
Thank you for taking the time for reading this blog post.