My running journey has brought me a long way already. This time last year the idea of putting on a pair of trainers and going for a run simply hadn't crossed my mind. And now, here I am 10 days away from my first ever half marathon. Running has given me a new lease of life, a new level of health and a sense of purpose and achievement and I'm excited to share that with the other members of my family, especially when great, great things can come of it.
This summer, Lara and I will be running a Race for Life together. Lara will have just turned 6 years old and yet already she is enthusiastic about running and inspired by me! Lara and I will be running 5 kilometers ( or 3.1 miles in old money) which is a phenomenal distance for any one of us to run, let alone a small person! But Lara wants to do it, because she wants to achieve great things.
And what greater thing to achieve than raising money for Cancer Research UK to fund research into ways that we can diagnose, treat and prevent cancer. This year I am working with Cancer Research UK to help spread the word about Race For Life running events that take place up and down the country; Race for Life will be supporting me and Lara in our training for our event and we will be fundraising together to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Race for Life is a series of women-only running events that take place across the UK. You can run to set yourself a challenge, or simply run for fun. Events include plenty of 5km races but also 10km, half marathon or even a sneaky marathon in October (I will admit, I have been tempted). In addition to these races, Race For Life now also features Pretty Muddy events which are women-only muddy obstacle courses for those people who want even more of a challenge! I am planning on running a Pretty Muddy event in September (the idea of mud freaks me out a bit so it really is a challenge).
For the 5km and 10km events children are allowed to run as well and if your child is under 6 years old, they can run for free. The entry fees for Race For Life are very reasonable compared to other organised running events I've attended. However, the cost of your entry is simply the cost of organising the event so Cancer Research UK encourage entrants to raise money through sponsorship that will contribute towards the cost of vital research into the fight against cancer.
I have set up a JustGiving charity donation website for myself and Lara which took a matter of minutes to do. If you'd like to sponsor us to complete these challenge then head over there. But if you fancy joining in with the Race For Life challenge yourself then I have a £2 discount code off the cost of entry to any 2015 Race for Life. Just quote RFLMel when entering the race online. if you do join up, please leave me a comment below to let me know when and where you will be running - it'd be great to give each other support.
Lara has already started running with me once a week, starting at 1km and now working her way up to about 2.5km as a mixture of running and walking. She is really hopeful that she will be able to run the whole 5km without stopping, come July although I have heard that the atmosphere at Race For Life is very relaxed and there is no pressure to run fast. I will be sharing some of our training experiences over the next few months in the run up to our big day.