Well – I am now onto the home run. After a kind of rest (well one week off and a run at the beginning of the week rather than the end ) I had only done one 5k arkrun and eaten my own body weight and a bit extra in revels and welsh cakes (my new vice) This was not ideal preparation for what was actually a pretty scary run. This week I ran in Leicester – it was extra special for so many reasons.
My lovely brother in law drove us to Leicester and Kerry and I started our 10k at Kerry and Paul’s old house and ran into Leicester to Welford Road Stadium. We passed loads of great places – Kerry’s old Uni, Jorja’s old nursery and other memory provoking sites including a bus stop – don’t ask! (it’s not dodgy though!). Kerry ran very well despite falling over the kerb (twice!) and I found it hard to keep up (she wasn’t running deliberately fast mind) -I also kept looking at her easy running style very enviously! Mine is a whole new level of odd looking.
We then went back to our hotel and changed. Chris Rose (media manager at Leicester Tigers) had arranged for me to run a lap of Welford Road at half time during the Leicester Tigers vs Harlequins match – live on BT sport. It was an amazing gesture of his and the Tigers as they have their own charities that they work with but they thought enough of Luca’s cause to let me advertise it by running in the Stadium.
I have to say – I was absolutely and ridiculously nervous. I had warned Chris so many times that I was a slow runner that I think he became genuinely scared that I might be still on the pitch at the end of half time! I think he was secretly drawing up contingency plans in case I needed to be bundled off the pitch at short notice!
Luckily my gorgeous niece Jorja Grace came to my rescue – we not only did a timed walk of 4 lengths of the pitch (dodging supporters standing on the terraces) to make sure that I could definitely make it round the pitch during the 15 minutes of half time, but she also offered to run with me. At that point I knew I would be able to do it as I would have no doubt about who the 24,000 supporters would be looking at – and it certainly wasn’t me!
We stood freezing at half time and waiting to start. The other activities were finished and Jorja and I carried out our lap of the pitch. The supporters were amazing — clapping and cheering us both – it was really very emotional as all I could think about was that all these people would get to know about Luca! Pretty amazing thought!
Jorja and I finished on a high – we watched the second half in a bit of blur as we were so excited! After the match we went back to our hotel and had a fab supper. We all were exhausted and went to bed and had a lovely lay in on Sunday morning.
This did not stop us from falling asleep on the way home leaving Paul to drive to the sound of no conversation whatsoever – he is a long suffering soul!
Thank you so much to Kerry, Paul and Jorja for your company and support and also thank you to Chris Rose and Leicester Tigers for allowing us to publicise Luca’s cause. Finally thank you to all the Tigers and Quins fans who made us feel so welcome. Luca – we are coming to the end of my challenge for you so I am going all out to try and raise your profile
Until next week………..