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Munchkin Marathon Heroes

Thank you so much to our supporters Jo Wilson and the Munchkins Marathon Heroes, who completed the Blackpool half Marathon in April, the team have already raised over £1500.00 this year!

This is a blog written by Mark, one of the Heroes! What will they get up to next??

“Last January a group of friends decided to take on the challenge of Born Survivor in the Lakes from the suggestion of Jo & John Wilson to raise money for St John’s Hospice in memory of her mother Cris Furey (AKA Munchkin!). A 10km assault course that frightened the life out of us. My wife & I had not done any kind of training for a long time and that first run out had us feeling sick and gasping for oxygen! We persevered and did some boot camps with our fantastic friends, encouraging each other along the way and giving each other confidence. The fitness slowly improved and we started enjoying it. We did Born Survivor and I stated on here that it was one of the greatest achievements of my life. It was. For all of us. We decided to carry on and keep fit. We did the Colour Dash on the Promenade and we did Born Survivor again in September. Challenges over, so we thought! 
Then David suggested we did a Half Marathon. Oh how we laughed! Then we got drunk and agreed to it…… We sobered up and wondered how we could get out of it without losing the respect of our friends. We couldn’t so we faced up to the daunting prospect of running 13.1 miles all in one go without stopping. At this point in my life the furthest I had run non-stop was about 4 miles. I voiced my real doubts to Kerry and she talked me round. Her belief that I could do it meant everything to me. Training plans were devised and doubts were still plenty and then a magical thing happened. All the friends started logging runs on Runkeeper and once again it felt like we were in it together. Seeing one of the group had pushed a 5 mile run out on a cold January evening or done a 6 miler on a wet afternoon spurred us into action and we began to knuckle down. 2 miles, 4 miles, 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles and then 2 x 10 milers were achieved. All personal lifetime records for us both. Kerry and I went out together or alone and went out a couple of times with one of the group, but Runkeeper kept us all in touch and all motivated to keep up. When we did our 10 mile run on our son’s birthday we knew that we could do it!
That didn’t prevent another sleepless night on the eve of the Blackpool event and the nerves all the way down. We weren’t alone. Everyone was feeling the same and the nerves kicked in as we lined up for the off. Our simple aim was to complete it. We weren’t bothered about times, it was about crossing the finish line. The Blackpool course was demanding with wind, rain and steep hills (we thought it was flat). The first mile seemed a long way and then we had done two, three and four. All with seaside scenery and plenty to look at. We got to the turnaround at five miles and the wind was against us. We dug in but the realisation that we weren’t even half way made us dig as deep as we could. Up a steep hill and onwards to Bispham before turning round for the final three miles. These were the three miles that we hadn’t done before and the concrete started setting in to the legs. Some friends were ahead, some were behind but Kerry & I stuck together all the way round and we spurred each other on for those long painful final three miles to the finish line. Our friends who had finished ahead were there waiting and so were Glen, Karen, Karen and Darren . Three of them had done the run and finished over half an hour ahead of us but waited to cheer us over the line. It meant so much to us and the feeling when we crossed the finish line holding hands was so intense it was emotional. I had to fight the tears back! Two medals later and it was our turn to cheer others over the line including Jo who had run against doctors’ advice and limped painfully for the last 4 miles determined to finish. What an achievement by a group of 40 somethings who had only started dabbling with fitness and running a little over a year earlier! We were all so proud of each other. The celebrations afterwards were lengthy and legendary and that feeling of friendship and togetherness was tangible. The love between this group of friends (the girls especially) is a special bond and has only grown this last 16 months. Who knows what is next?
I am proud to have done it. I am so proud of my fantastic wife Kerry and proud of all of our super friends. We did it!
One last mention is to everyone who sponsored us. Over £1500 for St. John’s Hospice was raised between us with more to come in! Brilliant! Thank you all!”


Well done to the Munchkin Marathon Heroes!

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