Batch are proud to be taking part in this year's Pendleside Hospice Corporate Challenge. We have some exciting fundraising plans and with a £50 starter fund, we're hoping to raise as much as possible for the charity. Our aim is to smash last year's target of £3,500, so keep an eye the blog and social media for further info on how you can get involved!
The Corporate Challenge launches on June 1st, but below Operations Manager, Claire, shares her story about the Manchester Half Marathon that she complete in May, which kicked of our fundraising for Pendleside Hospice.
Sunday 20th May 2018 – the day I was dreading and looking forward to in equal measure! Back in February, I decided that I needed a challenge to focus my training as I hadn't run much over the Winter months. Pendleside Hospice were advertising spaces for the Manchester Great Run 10km and half marathon. Batch have been supporting Pendleside for the last year and they are our named charity. We have all been touched by the amazing work that goes on there and have enjoyed getting to know some of the staff through their Corporate Challenge. Decision made – I took a place for the half marathon (I like a challenge!).
People that know me, will know that I'm not a natural runner. I'm slow, heavy and have flat feet but I'm stubborn and can plod along for many miles. Training went OK, given the short space of time I had given myself. I knew that I could complete a steady 10 mile run in the hilly Ribble Valley so was confident that a flat 13.1 miles would be achievable.
Fast forward to the week before the race and I noticed that the weather was forecast to be sizzling on the day so I started to get nervous about covering that distance in 23 degree heat (I have a happy running window of 5 to 14 degrees – anything outside of that and I panic!) None the less, I trusted in my training and the crowds and remembered why I was doing this – to raise funds for Pendleside!
Fast forward to 8:50am on the morning of the run and I found myself in the starting pen, doing the warm up. I met Beth who was also running for Pendleside and we bonded over our nerves and fetching bright yellow vests! A very moving minutes silence for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing and at 9:10am we were off!
The first 3 miles weren't so bad – shaded by the tall buildings of the city centre, I fell into a comfortable pace and realised I was just ahead of the 2hr30min pacer (my target!) But as we continued along the closed off motorway, with no shelter from the sun, I realised I would have to drop my pace to continue and soon the pacer was ahead of me. Never mind, I decided completing the course was more important than collapsing from heat exhaustion!
Miles 3-6 went by very quickly, passing the Etihad Stadium and receiving lots of support from the crowds helped. I was happy to hit the 10km point in 1hr11min where I took on water and a gel. At that point, I decided that I really should have signed up for the 10km! It was the return run back to the city, along the motorway, where the heat really started to kick in. I took a short walk at 9.5 miles on the lead up to Old Trafford, took more water then managed to start jogging again for a further mile and a half. If you've done the course before, you'll know that that final stretch up Chester road, into the city centre, is a killer. I walked about a mile up until 12.5 miles to conserve some energy for the finish line.
Cheers from the crowd (and a few jelly babies) got my feet moving again and I could see the Beetham Tower coming into view. Running is simply about putting one foot in front of the other and somehow, I managed to keep going. With the finish line in sight, I spotted my husband and children in the crowds and broke into a sprint (sort of!) to the line. 2 hours 47 minutes of hot, sweaty, painful running but an incredible sense of achievement! It was time for a well earned G&T!
Thank you Pendleside Hospice for the place and to all my supporters and sponsors. To date, I have raised over £450 but the page is open for another couple of weeks if you would like to make a donation.
I've just signed up for another half marathon in October (and am hoping that it will be a lot cooler!) If you're inspired to start running, try the NHS Couch to 5km programme. It's great for the body and mind. You don't know what your body is capable of until you try.
This year Pendleside Hospice celebrate their 30th Anniversary, you can visit their website for more information about fundraising and how you can support the charity. We have some exciting fundraising plans so keep checking the blog and social media for further details.