Caroline works in our Academic Unit of Palliative Care, supporting and training the clinical teams at work. This year she’s signed up for an incredible challenge – running the Leeds Marathon! Here’s her story:
Why have you decided to run Leeds Marathon 2024?
“I think it’s really important to make it clear that although I enjoy keeping fit, I am definitely not a natural runner! I started running when my two children were little. It was a good way to keep fit, have a short time to myself and didn’t require much time or expensive equipment! Although I’ve had time away from running where I’ve done different things such as circuit training, Zumba, aerobics, spinning classes etc. I’ve always come back to running. I think it’s because the solitude gives me time to think and because I also love being in nature. I have challenged myself to do charity runs in the past such as races for life and half marathons. All of these have been hard but have left me with incredible memories and a real feeling that I’ve played a small part in promoting a particular charity.”
Have you run a marathon before?
“I’ve always looked at friends who’ve completed marathons with absolute admiration but never ever thought I would ever be able to do it myself. I suppose part of that is because I’m not sure I’m physically capable and also because I know, from listening to others who have completed marathons, it takes up a lot of time in training. Although my children are grown up and theoretically, I should have more free time, that doesn’t seem to have quite happened.”
Why are you choosing to raise money for St Gemma’s Hospice?
“I am so proud to work at St Gemma’s. Every working day, I see examples of the exceptional lengths that staff go to in providing high standards of palliative care. I see that in every department and it is really humbling. It’s important to me to do whatever I can to raise money for St Gemma’s and committing to the Leeds Marathon has made it a personal challenge too.”
What do you think will be the hardest challenge?
“The training and actually running for 26 miles! Currently, I’m able to run 10 miles fairly comfortably but to think of doing that twice over plus another 6 miles seems incredibly daunting! People have told me that the event itself will carry me and that your mental attitude is really important. I only hope that is true. I’m going to need a lot of encouragement and positivity around me!”
Inspired to follow in Caroline’s footsteps and sign up to the Leeds Marathon? You can do so at https://events.st-gemma.co.uk/events/leeds-marathon-2024/