A blog from a guest – a member of the BFF Bournemouth marathon team

In January this year a group of us decided we wanted to run an event in the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2017. The Festival was in October and ages away, so wouldn’t be a problem!

We signed up and wanted to run for a charity; but which one? After throwing the usual suspects into the pot, one of the kids asked: “could we run for Annabelle at school as she is blind, and we have done charity days at school for her”.

Perfect we thought, but little did we know… After meeting with Annabelle’s mum, Lisa, for lunch, we learnt about Juvenile Batten Disease and the BDFA. The more we learned, there was no going back – there was only one charity we were doing this for. We were doing this for Annabelle and Robbie, and the whole Hover family.

So training began. For some of us it was about getting back into the habit of running. But for others, we hadn’t run even 1k in a very long time and struggled!

The months went by and we were still running and training. Injuries started to creep up on us, and then all of a sudden, summer was here and plans got in the way. Every time we got together we talked about the Marathon Weekend… but it was still ages away.

Fast forward a few months and the sponsorship was coming in. The running vests and race numbers arrived – we actually have to do this!

Race weekend was here, and it’s safe to say we were all apprehensive.

The weekend started with the kids 1k run. George dragged his dad, Alex, round the course, beaming with pride – he was running for his friend Robbie! Lucy was loving every second in the lime light, waving at everyone.

Next up was the junior 1.5k. Albha, Clodagh, Maisie Rose, Maisie Minchin, and Lily running amazing races. Those twins can fly!

That afternoon it was the turn of the 10k team. To say we were nervous was an understatement! But Alison ran an impressive 46:32 mins; Lynn just over an hour; and Carriann under her 1 hour 30 target – woohoo!

The next day was the half marathon team’s turn – the big one. And how impressive! Sarah, Alex, Mike, and Simon all running amazingly! They all set brilliant times, and were still smiling while doing it. And Mike didn’t need St John’s in the end – he not only survived, but thrived!

Thinking of Annabelle and Robbie saw us all to that finish line, and as a team we are so proud of ourselves.

We all took turns being the BFF support crew across the weekend. We were there cheering each other, shouting encouragement, and getting some great photos. The support from Team BFF was outstanding and helped push us all to the finish line.

This was an amazing weekend that saw us all wear our orange vests with pride! We couldn’t have run for a better charity.

As the last runner crossed the line, we had a lump in our throats. We all did it! And actually all did it well. We may not be able to walk for a few days (and have a few minor injuries between us), but we did it for BFF.

So that was the Bournemouth Marathon Festival 2017. What next? Anyone up for 2018? Maybe the full marathon?…

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