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Degree Show Fundraising. London Marathon.

By Drew Hird


So, October came around, and I received a letter that sent dread down my spine. I had been accepted into the London Marathon, via the ballot.

I started training, with the odd health-based hiccup along the way. Then, a few months later, in my lecture, I was told that the class had to start fundraising for our degree show. I decided that I would get some people to sponsor me for running the London marathon, surely, this would spur me on to train harder.

Training was not without its hardships, I was pushing myself, and more than once. I had to take a break, due to injuries, but I trained, and sure enough, within no time, I had come to the week before the marathon. During this time, I had been telling everyone that I was raising money, I put a fundraiser on facebook, and asked people if they would like to sponsor me.

Marathon day. What a hot sunny day it was. Hottest London marathon on record, and I was about to make my way around the city. We started at Blackheath, waiting as all the other runners went. I was in the last group to make my way to the start line. As I approached, I started a little canter, and a slow jog over the line onto the streets of London.

The first few miles were uneventful, mostly down-hill, and a slight breeze, which only just helped against the heat of the sun, and as I passed the Cutty Sark, I felt like I had this in the bag, the fundraising money would be mine to give in, but eventually, the run got harder. It was around mile 11, I met a young lady who I would then stick with for another 11 miles. It was while with her, that I made it past the half way point, and we decided to take a break. Walking down a slope which was sheltered by some building, we had a chance to cool off a bit, and watch as other runners were laid out on the side on stretchers, as the heat had finally beaten them.

The crowds were fantastic, cheering and making all sorts of noises, from whistles, to music being played. Before we knew it, we had passed the 20 mile mark. Only 6.2 miles to go! A combination of running and walking got us to 23 miles, and I felt I needed another break, while the oung lady I had been accompanied by had decided to carry on, and so I was left to push myself forward. I couldn’t let myself be bested and lose the sponsor money I had gained. I must do them proud I thought. My other thought was on the cool refreshing beer my family were sure to have for me waiting at the end, and so I kept ploughing on.

Of course, I eventually found myself with another runner, and we had a little chat as we made our way down the final 2 miles, seeing the markers for 800 metres, 600 metres, and 400 metres, we were nearly there. We rounded a corner, and another, and there was the home stretch, in front of us, we could see the finish line. Mustering up all our energy, we decided to get there, we then sprinted to the finish, collected our medals, and gave each other a hug, thanking each other for helping make it to the finish.

Thanks to some generous donations, I managed to raise £100 for the degree show. I shall be able to exhibit my work, and the money raised will help with printing our degree show catalogue and provide catering for the show.

The Degree Show opens on the 8thof June.

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