At the start of this year, as I made mental notes of fell races I really wanted to do this year (mainly big chunky classics) there was one that stood out as not to be missed, one that I'd forgo anything to make - Jura. 2012 would be the year, free from deadlines, travel and financial constraints, I was hoping to make my first pilgrimage to this race I've heard a lot about.
So why, you may ask, is my name not on the Jura shortlist, instead turning up on the startlist for the Sheffield Half Marathon on the day after Jura?
Last year a friend of mine and housemate of one of my best Sheffield friends, Ed Mainwaring, died after an from Burkitt's syndrome. He was just short of his 22nd birthday. On the day Ed died his sister completed the Sheffield Half to raise money for the organisations which helped him. Inspired by this a group of Ed's friends will this year be running the Sheffield Half Marathon in memory of Ed, to raise money for Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
As someone who runs regularly I find it difficult to ask people to sponsor me for something I do all the time, but in this instance I'd ask people to donate for the entire group, some of whom are not runners. The Just Giving page is here. Please donate.
I've set myself a target of sub-80mins. I feel a bit uncomfortable using this occasion to set a time, but I feel I want to push myself as hard as I can in memory of Ed.
Also, my fellow club-mates at ShUOC are also running the Sheffield half, in joint-aid of Leukaemia & Lymphoma research and Unicef. Several members are trying to break the world record for a 2-person pantomime costume in a half-marathon which currently stands at 129mins or so. Their Just Giving Page can be found here.
I feel a bit embarrassed to ask people to donate money to charity, as I'm sure many people do already, but a little help towards the targets of both groups would be fantastic.