Friday, 11 June 2010

Marathon Mummy

The final Guest Post for this week comes from Rachael over at Marathon Mummy .

I started a blog in April 2009 when I decided to run the London Marathon in memory of my dad.

I thought an online journal would inspire me when I couldn't face getting out of the door, and it would be something concrete to look back on when I finished. Despite being completely unfit and far fonder of eating chocolate and drinking tea than running, I was utterly convinced that I'd complete the marathon, no matter how long it took me. And I did!

Heart Research UK gave me one of their coveted Gold Bond places, and I started running. Every morning I'd go out at 5am, and run a minute, walk two. I'd come home, ice my aching shins, and blog about it. The miracle of blogging is that somewhere, out of nowhere, the readers appeared. Initially there were only a handful of regulars, mainly seasoned runners, who were incredibly sweet and encouraging.

Then one day I logged back into my neglected , and mentioned my blog on there. Suddenly there were more than five people reading my posts. One day I even had fifty visitors! Ooh, the excitement. I had an audience, and they wanted more. I wrote about my dad, and why I was running. I wrote about my memories of him and made people cry. I wrote about my feeble attempts at running and made people laugh. Sometimes knowing that so many people were reading made it hard for me, especially as by that point my blog was being read by family and friends.

I mentioned my Justgiving page on the blog and found that people from all over the world were willing to sponsor me. Then I had the idea of running each one of the 26 miles in memory of somebody, and my readers stepped forward yet again with generous sponsorship and incredibly touching stories of their lost loved ones. I exceeded my target of £1500 and at present I'm almost at £2000 (all donations still gratefully accepted!).

I have regular readers from all over the world - from Brazil to Estonia, California to Russia. Many of them never comment, but it's lovely to know that they are there, cheering me on, silently.

When I woke up on Marathon Day and realised I was ill, I knew that no matter how slowly I took it, I had to complete the 26.2 miles. There were so many blog readers waiting to hear how I'd done, who'd cheered me along for twelve long, painful months. So at 13 miles I sent my sister on and walked the second half, gritting my teeth and thinking of everyone out there who'd supported me. I truly believe that if it hadn't been for and my amazing readers I would have given up.

Since completing the marathon (and swearing never again) I've applied for a place to do it all over again next year, and I know that all my readers will be there, cheering me on. The sense of community and friendship in the blogging world has surprised my non-blogging friends and family, but they've grown to appreciate how lovely the blog world really is.