On the 10th July I set myself the challenge to run 1 mile every hour for 24 hours to raise money for Blood Cancer UK.
Why this charity? 11 years ago my dad Bob Downes, died of leukemia aged 64 and my stepdad Geoff Coles is currently in hospital with Lymphoma, so I wanted to raise some money for Blood Cancer UK. This charity funds research and helps those with blood cancer and like many charities has struggled with funding over the year.
Starting at midnight I headed for my first run with Dylan. It was dark and I had 23 miles left to do. What had I let myself into to.
Night time was definitely the hardest, however I only got a little freaked out on the 2am run due to a cat. And was surprised how many security lights I seemed to trigger (sorry Penruddock).
The family joined me to watch the sun rise at 4.45am from the top of Little Mel Fell. It was cloudy but still magical. There were a few bivvy wild campers so we were as quiet as possible.
After about 6 miles I realised that to do a mile just before the hour and one shortly after was much easier than one at the start of each hour, as I was already warmed up. My legs were already feeling it.
During the day I did complete some tasks but the jogging was taking up more time than I thought. Tasks included crochet homework, charity shop clear out, cleaning the fish tank, baking, selling jams and flapjack. I even managed a swim in Ullswater which was lovely.
A good friend Kath Ridley plus Dylan, Norman and George joined me for some of the miles and their company was appreciated.
It was a really muggy day and quite energy zapping, but I had set the challenge, so was going to complete it one way or another.
Later in the day, as the family watched the sun set we received news that my stepdad and the boys grandad lost his fight with Lymphoma, and had passed away.
It was very sad to hear, but such a beautiful place to sit and think about the times we had had together.
"No-one lives forever. Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory."
There was only a few hours left and only a few more miles to run. I could do it and I did!!!
Donations now stand at £1,525 for Blood Cancer UK - which given I was hoping to raise £240 to start with, is simply amazing. So I really do thank all the donors from the bottom of my heart.
Geoff had over the years been part of trials for new treatments, and it is only with donations like yours that this research can take place.