Completing the London Marathon is one of the most incredible experiences of any runner’s life, but for 52 year old Wigtown Mum, Heather Bestel, it’s something she never even thought possible just three months ago. Psychotherapist Heather, only took up running last May on the suggestion of her GP to help get strong and healthy as part of her recovery after liver failure three years ago.
She said: “I didn’t even like it at first and could hardly run without struggling for breath. But, I kept on pushing myself a tiny bit further everyday and within 12 weeks, I could run continuously for three miles. I couldn’t believe it. It gave me the confidence to enter the three mile fun run at Wigtown Book Festival last autumn and I’m proud to say, I ran the whole thing.”
Since then, Heather has been running regularly each week and it was in January this year that she saw on facebook that a charity she already supports, was asking for someone to run the London Marathon for them.
She said: “I just knew I had to do it. I didn’t even know what was involved, but I knew it had to be me. I said yes and then found out I had about three months to get ready. I got the go ahead from my doctor and have been following the training plan that the marathon team supply. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done and has meant getting up early and running in all weathers to get the miles in. I can’t remember a time when my body didn’t ache.”
“My longest run three weeks ago was 20 miles and friends came out to cheer me on and even ran parts of it with me. I am so grateful for that, it really helped. I know on the day, the crowds cheering will help to get me round the course. The other thing that will keep me going is thinking of the charity I’m supporting. They are called ‘It’s Good 2 Give’ and support young cancer patients and their families throughout Scotland. No matter how much pain I’m in on the day, it’s nothing compared to what they’re going through.” “I’ve also been overwhelmed by the local support. Everyone has been amazing and I’ve even had sponsorship from the Wigtown Book Festival and the People’s Project to help me cover the considerable cost of travelling and staying in London for the event. I can’t wait to get that medal around my neck and make everyone proud.”
To find out more and support Heather’s challenge, here’s a link to her giving page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HeatherBestel