[Edit: I've now finished the race, and did it even faster than last year! I've no idea how I managed this, but the knowledge that I wasn't just running for myself surely helped - so a big thanks to everyone who supported me and helped beat the fundraising target. Now on to next year...!]
About me: I used to be very overweight, very unfit, and very much NOT a runner. A few years ago, I decided to make a change, so I set myself a goal: to run a half marathon in under 1 hour 45 minutes. After a little blood, a LOT of sweat, occasional tears, and 50 kg of shed fat, I... missed my target. Repeatedly. It became a personal demon of mine: I ran three half marathons in three years and missed the goal each time by just a couple of minutes. So I gave up. I'd bitten off more than I could chew.
Fast forward to last year. I decided to sign up to the Oxford Half Marathon on a whim: one last shot at glory, 6 more months of arduous training. Make or break (or, more likely, both). And I did it! With 40 seconds to spare, I ran the Oxford Half 2017 in 1 hour, 44 minutes and 20 seconds. The feeling of elation was honestly overwhelming, and if you've never set yourself a target outside of your normal comfort zone, I can't recommend it enough.
But anyway, enough about me. I'd done it for myself, so now's the time to do it for others: I'm running the Oxford Half Marathon again on the 7th October 2018. I've never asked for sponsorship for these before, because I didn't want to be dishonest about the fact that I was ultimately running for my own personal goal, not for the benefit of others. But now that I've done that, I want to use my suffering (yes, honestly, I hate running) for good, and I'm asking for your kind donations with the hope of raising £300 for Cancer research UK.
Cancer is something that's affected us all, whether personally or through a friend or family member, and the fight is never over. Cancer Research UK do great work in saving and improving countless lives, and medical research needs our help more than ever in the unstable political climate in which we find ourselves.
If you could spare any amount, no matter how big or small, I would be utterly grateful. And, rest assured, I will be working hard for your money. The past 3 months I've battled through a torn achilles, chronic knee pain, and other health issues you'd probably rather not hear about - it's certainly not easy, but I'm certain it will be worth it.