A note from Julie Tomlin, who ran the Run To the Beat half marathon to benefit OTSK.
On 26th September, 13 runners, some experienced and some not, (myself included in the latter) joined forces to undertake the Run To The Beat half marathon to help raise funds for Off The Street Kids. The months leading up to event day involved quite a bit of organising, whilst we searched for runners to help form our team. Eventually, we were very delighted to have ‘TEAM OTSK’ in place and ready for action!
Months of training and healthy eating lay ahead for all of us, both of which I am not a natural at, but I realised how important it was that I had to be in reasonable shape in order to complete the race, and make sure I didn’t let myself down, and most importantly, didn’t let OTSK down. What we had been building up to for months had finally arrived. Event day was here!
On the morning of the race we had all arranged to meet outside the tube station entrance. There was adrenalin pumped people everywhere, all very excited and nervous to be taking part in this awesome event for their chosen charities. After a quick phone call to Michelle and a few of the runners, pin pointing our location, I started to see OTSK t-shirts emerging from the crowd. Michelle arrived offering a very warm welcome and heartfelt thanks to us all, which was lovely and greatly appreciated. It was a pleasure to meet some of our team before the race, but unfortunately due to tube delays we didn’t get to meet everyone, which was a shame. For those of us who won our battle with the tube, we assembled nervously and excited in anticipation of the start, whilst Andy took a few photos before the race.
The start time quickly arrived and the nerves were now being channelled in to energy. The gun sounded and off we went! The first few miles were amazing; I looked around to see masses of runners, most of whom were also running in aid of a charity. Five miles in, my knee decided it didn’t want to play anymore, it undoubtedly slowed me down, but the fact that complete strangers were spurring me on and telling me to keep going, and reminding myself why I was doing this, it inspired me to carry on. Seven miles in, I got chatting to another runner, spurring each other on, we shared our stories as to why we were running for our chosen charities. I turned a corner and read the street sign, ‘Ha-Ha Road’…..I turned to my fellow runner and realised she too had spotted it, both having a little laugh we decided that the person who had chosen the race route must have a great sense of humour!
As much as I had enjoyed (nearly) every minute of the race, the sign reading 500 metres to go was a welcome site for sure. I reached the finish and realised I had done it, 13.1 miles in Three hours Six minutes. All of ‘TEAM OTSK’ successfully completed the race and have collectively helped to raise much needed funds for OTSK. We are still waiting for the final figure raised, but are confident it will be a healthy amount. Thank you to all those who came down on the day to show support and to all involved, and to all those who sponsored one of OTSK’s runners. It was an amazing and unforgettable day…….Bring on the next event!