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Beverley Hancock runs the London Marathon for I CAN!

Hi, my name is Beverley Hancock and on 21st April 2013, I ran the London Marathon for the charity I CAN.

Why did I decide to run this year’s London Marathon? I’m mad? I’m super fit? I do it every year? None of the above, a few reasons really. I remember growing up and watching the London Marathon on a Sunday morning and thinking, “I will run that one day”. As each year past I said to myself, “Next year”. I’ve come up to a milestone in my life as I have just turned 40 years old! I felt that if I didn’t do it now, I never will!

The other reason is that since 2010, my son Kane who has autism and speech and language difficulties has attended I CAN’s Dawn House School. This school is a specialist school for communication and interaction. Kane struggled in mainstream school and I can honestly say if Kane did not attend Dawn House, I don’t know where he would be?

I signed up to run the London Marathon in November and started my training straight away. Training was going well and then just before Christmas, I broke my wrist. This didn’t stop me and within 10 days I was back up and running with my cast on. My dog Magic a 2 year old Weimanarer was my training partner. He ran the majority of runs with me. I took part in my first ever Canix event with him as part of my training. This involves running with your dog who wears a harness which is then attached to your waist via a lead. He was a great training buddy through those cold winter months. By February I was up to 13 miles on my long runs but I started struggling with shin splints and then pain in my knee due to I.T band problems.  It got to the stage where I thought I would have to pull out of the London Marathon. This was an upsetting prospect for me. I visited a sports physiotherapist who gave me stretches to do and foam rolling. This seemed to work as I ran the Newton Fraction Half Marathon on 10th March in 2 hours 9 minutes. The weather was awful, it was cold, windy and even snowing at one point, but I did it and was really pleased with my time.

Fundraising wise; I needed to raise £1800 for I CAN. I knew I was not going to raise this all from sponsors, so I organised an 80’s disco at my local village hall which raised £850. I also held a coffee morning plus a friend organised a charity football match which between them raised £370….The fundraising target was in sight!

 

The day was nearly here and my family and I arrived in London a few days early to do a bit of sightseeing. On the race day we arrived at the start area and I could not believe how many people there were, runners of all ages and sizes including those dressed in all sorts of costumes were getting ready to take on this challenge. There were thousands of runners and the atmosphere was fantastic. Just before the race, 30 seconds of silence was held to remember the tragic events of the Boston Marathon and everyone that took part wore a black ribbon. After that, the start sounded and we were off. The feeling running around London was amazing. The sights, the people cheering you on, I will never forget it.

Before the race I had set a predicted time to run the marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes. I knew I could do this if I paced myself very steadily. I felt really good all the way round, taking in and enjoying the atmosphere. It was only when I got the 18 miles that I hit ‘the wall’. At this point I really wanted to stop and start walking but amazingly I just carried on running. By 21 miles I seemed to get an extra burst of energy and I felt a lot better. I knew I would see my family and the I CAN cheering point at mile 25 and this definitely pushed me on. It was great to see them at this point and I knew now I only had 1 more mile to go. I could see the finish line and I quickened my pace to reach it; the feeling I got when I crossed that line was fantastic! And it was made even more special when I saw my finishing time; 4 hours 29 minutes and 32 second. The amount of support I received on race day and throughout my fundraising and training has been excellent, which has made me achieve my running time goal and smash my fundraising target – I managed to raise to raise an amazing £2,300 for I CAN. http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/BEVERLEYHANCOCK

I know it is easy for me to say having run the marathon, but I believe anyone has a marathon in them. You don’t have to train every day, but it is hard work and requires dedication and commitment. It is a wonderful feeling to achieve by yourself, for yourself, and no one can take it from you. I am very proud of my medal and now have it framed.

If you are inspired by Bev’s story and want to take on the challenge we are taking applications for the 2014 London Marathon now!