‘The most amazing, wonderful and challenging thing of my life’.
That was the reaction of 52 year-old Wigtown Mum, Heather Bestel, after completing the London Marathon on Sunday raising money for the It’s good 2 give! charity.
The charity offers support to young cancer patients and their families and tries to make life a little bit easier on a day-to-day basis.
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.
Heather said: “Running the London Marathon has been the most amazing, wonderful and challenging thing of my life. The crowds en route are what kept me going. That, and just trusting all the training I had put in beforehand.
“I must admit there were times during the 26.2 miles that I was struggling and I had to call upon all my experience and training as a therapist. I started giving myself a good talking to at some points, just to keep going. I kept myself cool by pouring water over my head and neck. As I’d been so ill I didn’t give myself a time goal, I just wanted to finish. But in the back of my mind I knew that if I could get around in less than 8 hours I would get a medal. I just kept pushing and had to dig really deep over the last six miles but managed to get around in seven hours and 40 minutes, so I got my medal. There were lots of tears. It was such an emotional day for me in so many ways. Three years ago I never thought I could get to this stage and now I know I can keep going and make a full recovery.”
Daughter Zoë said: “It’s been a bizarre but hellishly inspiring way to recover from liver failure three years ago, especially as she was never really athletic and definitely not into running, but I love her for setting then smashing this goal she set herself. She’s bloody inspirational with a tinge of madness, but I loved cheering her on, just like she’s always done for me throughout my life. She was and is bloody fabulous!”
You can still donate to heather’s fundraising page at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/HeatherBestel