Monday, 15 September 2008

Does the tortoise win the race?

Sunday, 7th September... it was an exhilarating feeling to complete the Adidas 5K Challenge – albeit a power walk – in 47 minutes! I recall that I did the London 10K Run (about ten years ago) in about the same time – however, back then I was fitter and healthier and in fact I completed the course in a run. Nevertheless, after the battles I’ve had with my health in recent years – which has indeed affected my fitness levels – it was a great personal achievement to complete the course in the time that I did it in.

Despite the drizzle and grey weather it was fantastic to see the commitment of so many women who came out to complete the Adidas 5K Challenge in support of their sponsored charities. An incredible buzz infused the atmosphere during the mega warm-up session with a fitness team. All revved up and rearing to go, the race started earnestly at 10:30 am. The serious runners began the race from the right lane, and both power and casual walkers commenced on the left lane. The serious runners completed the challenge in record times, and I believe that the first place runners ran the race in fifteen minutes flat. The rest of us had up to two hours to complete the challenge. As I’ve mentioned I completed mine – with a fellow power-walk partner (who I met on the day) – in forty-seven minutes. The course was a relatively flat and direct route which catered to all abilities of runners, joggers, walkers, and even those with visible disabilities; for example, I spotted a lady in a wheelchair, and there was another blind lady who completed the course with her sighted helpers.

There were many highlights to the event. One of the more rewarding experiences on the day was the sight of all the charities on a rainbow-colour display of T-shirts sported by women of all creed, colour, shape and size – a beautiful montage to both the multitude of charities represented, and the sisterhood of womankind. I stood amongst many, playing my part to raise money and awareness for my chosen charity: Action Aid. Each step I took – inspired by the support of many colleagues, acquaintances, and friends – led to the fulfilment of both a personal and charitable endeavour. And although I’d made the decision to participate in this Adidas 5K Challenge around June, it wasn’t until the beginning of August that I began fundraising in earnest for the event so it’s been such a satisfying accomplishment to have fundraised nearly £250 in a month. Hoorah!!! Definitely... this has very much been a team effort and success – namely, the combined effort of all those who’ve supported me financially and/or in prayer – in contributing to the work of Action Aid.

My sense of achievement from this challenge has given me the impetus to continue to improve my fitness levels, and look ahead to perhaps a bigger challenge next summer – again to help with raising money for Action Aid, and in particular their HIV/AIDS work. Many of you may not have been able to support me financially in this endeavour, but I hope all of you will stay connected with my news/blogs – and may feel inspired to sponsor me in future events of this kind that I may engage in as I (with your help) strive to ‘be the change I want to see in the world’ (Ghandi).

Once again, huge thanks to everyone for all your support with helping this tortoise win her race!

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