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What our Marathon runners said

Thinking of running a marathon for HemiHelp? Find out what it's like, by reading these testimonials from some of HemiHelp's previous Marathon runners!

HemiHelp is currently recruiting runners for the Flora London Marathon 2009 - find out how you can take part...

Ed Jaworski

Ed Jaworski, who has right hemiplegia, ran his first marathon in 2008. Here he describes how he got on...

A carnival atmosphere greeted me when Greenwich Park was in sight. After a few words of encouragement from fellow HemiHelp runner Phil (thanks again!) I joined up with the Mister Men, four Rhinos, a Batman, a Robin, a Spiderman, Bob the Builder and a three hump Camel. I followed the procession of my fellow "Beijing hopefuls" and my foot crossed the start line. All shapes and sizes of runners with a rainbow of colourful bibs kept me occupied during the race and the crowd were sensational. Everywhere I turned, however I felt, a wall of sound greeted me. During those "down" periods, a stranger calling out your name is just the tonic you need. I won my London Marathon in 4 hours 53 minutes 44 seconds.

Paul Magee

I had a great day, chatted with a Rhino called Neil, tried to hitch a ride with a guy dressed as a taxi and spent 10 miles following a very attractive fairy with a sign on her back saying catch me if you can - I couldn't! Within 2 days of the finish I was capable of going downstairs as well as up and of walking across garage forecourts without mincing.

Look forward to doing it again - maybe!

Mary Tidmarsh

My name is Mary Tidmarsh, I am 70 years old and I ran the London marathon in 5 hours 55 minutes 27 seconds! The first half was alright; it was very hard between 14miles and 19miles and then was better after 20 miles. The crowd was wonderful, giving me encouragement all the way; and the thought of all the sponsorship money for HemiHelp kept me going! It was wonderful to pass the finishing line and receive my medal!

Simon Rounding

All the training runs in the rain, snow and cold were a distant memory. I would like to say that we were looking forward to the day but looking around all I could see were people warming up stretching and looking very serious about the day.

Just before the start Lisa decided that the toilet was needed (she hasn't adopted the Radcliffe technique yet but maybe next year!) Anyway this gave me a great opportunity to have one last cigarette, we were still waiting in the queue when the Marathon started I started talking to a big Welsh lad in the toilet queue – he put my mind at ease as he confessed that the only training he had done was a half Marathon - looks like his training method was to skip most of the training schedule, do one long run, put all the rest days together, then turn up on the day. Hope Taff made it!

Finally made our way to the back of the mass of runners (when I say the back I mean there was no one else behind us it brought back my Rugby days I always liked being the last one out of the changing rooms!)

After 10 minutes of walking I felt even more relaxed as I realised that I wouldn't have a problem with this pace but then things opened up and we started running - only about 25 miles to go!

Lisa had put her name on her T-shirt which made her feel like someone famous as I must have heard at least 2000 "you can do it Lisa" 1000 "go on Lisa" and 1 "go on Lisa you’re gorgeous". I opted for the anonymous look but I did hear some one call me Flora!

We did not feel the first 15 miles the crowd was great! All the Lisa shouts were going to Lisa's head and I kept thinking any time now she would be signing autographs!

We got to see family and friends and they kept saying how well we looked it was either that we were lifted by seeing them or they were all good liars. At the 21 mile mark we knew we were going to do it so we stopped for 10 mins to chat to friends have a quick drink and I even managed to get some nicotine on board. The last 3 miles were painful but the support was fantastic. 500 metres from the finish Lisa started to sprint - I still don't understand why people do that but I felt myself doing the same! All the pain was forgotten and we both got a finishing time of 5 hours 51 minutes!

We were both very sore the next day but were both at work although all I managed to do was answer the phone and talk about how we did!

Never again ............till next year!!!

Melanie Pearson

I have to say that I had a fantastic day and was already thinking about my next marathon on the Sunday night after finishing. Even though it was my first one I am well and truly hooked now, the crowds were absolutely amazing and really do help to get you round with all the cheering and encouragement. I think that running for charity definitely enhances the overall experience and that you would feel like you were missing something if you didn't. I ran with my sister and my boyfriend and we were all running for different charities, it was fab!!
I definitely recommend it!!

HemiHelp is currently recruiting runners for the Flora London Marathon 2009 - find out how you can take part...

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