My name is Cheryl Richards and I live in North Wales with my husband Gary and 2 kids, Morgan & Emily. I have been an Alarm fan for many years, in fact going back to when I was 16! Me and my friends from college would go to all the local gigs such as the Arcadia in Llandudno and Pontins in Prestatyn – we’d push our way right to the front and pogo with the best……I’m not so brave these days!
I started running about 5 years ago, after I’d had Emily. Back then, running even a mile was a challenge however after a few weeks I was up to running about 3 miles and entered my first 5k race. Then…….I got the bug, I just kept entering races – 10k’s initially and then I tackled the Great North Run a couple of times. Eventually I decided I needed more of a challenge and decided to enter the London Marathon in 2010. I was lucky enough to get a ballot place.
I really wanted to raise money for a local charity and the Love Hope Strength Foundation was perfect.
My father and other friends have received treatment at the North Wales Cancer Centre at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd and as LHS donates to this and other local cancer centres I felt it was a truly
deserving cause and I also wanted to help raise the profile of the charity in the local area.
My training, although very time consuming, went amazingly well and I completed the marathon in 4 hours and 52 minutes and raised £1300 and I loved every minute of it – the atmosphere and the crowds cheering you on are amazing and it is so humbling to see so many people raising money for all those fantastic charities!
I had a year off in 2011 but in 2012 I entered the Marathon once again. This time I didn’t get in through the ballot but managed to get a place through my running club and obviously chose to support LHS again. My training this time didn’t go quite as well – the weather was absolutely dreadful and I was marred by illness and injury however was determined to continue.
The day before the marathon I woke up with a horrendous cold and sore throat. We travelled down to London on the train in a haze of Vicks and
Marathon day arrived and although feeling a little better I wasn’t taking any chances, I dosed myself up on Lemsips and paracetamol and off I went. This time, the run was much harder. It was a very hot day and as I wasn’t 100% anyway I began struggling at around 13 miles. I kept running until mile 18 but then had to give in and run / walk for a bit. Once again the crowd were absolutely amazing and if they see you struggling they just shout your name louder. I was determined to run the last 3 miles and despite struggling I still managed to finish in 4hrs 58mins – slightly slower than last time but still under my target of 5 hours so I was very happy as I raised £906.50. I even managed to pass
“Arg” from The Only Way Is Essex and somehow found the energy for a sprint finish down the mall!