Running for respite: Chris’s story

With the big day only hours away, Chris Chapman, Care Assistant at Leuchie House, gives us an update on how it feels to finally realise he's about to run his first ever marathon!

Suddenly the marathon is upon me and I don't know what to do with myself.

I'm still struggling to accept that I am now a 'runner', let alone that I am prepared to run 26.2 miles!

As a way of coping I've been scouring the internet for last minute advice as the real training is passed now. I found two pieces of advice that I really liked. One was to eat lots of carbohydrates in the days leading up to the run (I've practised this one plenty) and the other is to set yourself three goals for the day; a 'good', 'great' and 'amazing' goal. So my 'amazing' goal is four hours, which I think I should be able to achieve, my 'great' is four and a half hours, which I would be happy with (and would mean I still finish with plenty of time before last orders), and my 'good' goal would be just to finish! Any time, no matter how slow, would still mean I have completed a marathon!

The support I have received from my family, friends, friends of friends and guests at Leuchie house has really helped me take this seriously. Suddenly I'm not just running this as a bit of fun, I'm representing the house! I have to do everyone proud!

I didn't realise how much this support had affected me until I received my race number. The race start is split into 'pens' of different colours. You provide an estimate of your finish time to the race organisers and they organise the start so that those who believe they will be faster will be at the lead and not have to dodge around anyone.

My race number put me in the purple pen. I was very surprised when I found out that this was the very last pen, the last group to cross the start line. I double checked and triple checked, then looked at the time I had given as a finish estimate. It was five and a half hours! I was in utter shock, then remembered I had signed up and provided that time thinking that I would just run and see what happened. I can't think of a better way of showing how my confidence in my training has risen over that time and what a difference the support shown by those who have sponsored and supported me has made.

So now there's just a lot of noodles between me and the race start. Wish me luck!

If you’d like to support Chris in his Edinburgh Marathon challenge for Leuchie House, visit his fundraising page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisChapman24.

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