My brother David and I had the idea to run a second marathon in memory of our mother and to raise sponsorship for Macmillan Cancer Care who were so supportive of Mum throughout her illness.
The first stumbling block we met was that we could not get into the London Marathon 2013, so we had to come up with a new idea.
After some thought, we decided to apply to run a marathon abroad. The timing was crucial because of our training schedule. We needed to run a marathon in the April/May window. Krakow in Poland seemed to be the best option for us.
Trying to sell the idea to our wives/fiancées was difficult as Poland in possible rain and snow compared badly to a warm and exotic location!
The training was cold, wet and windy due to the long harsh winter and I still remember the 14 miler that we both ran together on New Year’s day, to get the year started.
As it turned out we landed in Krakow in 28 degrees centigrade on the Friday. It was 27 degrees on the Saturday. Fortunately, on Sunday, it dropped to 18 degrees with slight rain. The historic city of Krakow is amazing and we managed to see quite a lot of the city in the days before the run.
The marathon started in the west of the city from the stadium, then went through the old historic city, across the plaza and passed Wassel castle. The marathon route then headed south over the river, turned east and then back into Krakow following the river. Everything was going fine until about 30/35 kilometres out. As we came back onto the riverside we both hit the famous marathon ‘wall’. We had managed to stay with the pace makers most of the way, until around the last 2 kilometres. At this point they just went up another gear, very impressive, but we were unable to do the same.
We finally crossed the line 4 hours and 31 minutes after starting out. We ran the whole marathon together. It was quite an emotional day but a hearty Polish meal after the race seemed to help.
As with other blessings in my life, I like to thank God. It is my faith that helps me all the way. Even when times were tough, just trusting in Jesus, the signpost to God, got me through. All credit to Him.
The following day we’d arranged a walking tour through the Jewish quarter of Krakow. Unfortunately for our feet, this turned out to be a walk of 10 kilometres. However, we soon forgot our blisters when faced with the reality of the suffering endured within the Jewish ghetto and during the Shoah.
The total raised so far is £1,808.00, if you would like to donate to this worthy cause see Nick’s ‘Justgiving’ page here