RFL. Done and Dusted.


rflpThe day dawned bright, clear, sunny, and promising. Saturday July 5th, 2014. A month ago today. I competed in my first event. I decided to take part in the Race for Life Pretty Muddy Bristol 5K. A yearly national fundraising event. Organised by Cancer Research UK, to fund research, and hopefully, one day, find a cure for more than 200 types of cancer. Find more information here.

I looked forward to this event for months. My intention was to honour the memory of my beloved cousins, Frederick Williams and Elroy Morris. Young men, both in their 20’s, who died within 2 years of each other. Frederick, died from the ravages of lymphatic cancer, and Elroy, who succumbed to liver cancer in March this year.

I didn’t train as much as I wanted. Or should. Undeterred, I decided to run, jog, walk, or crawl. Whatever it took. To cross the finished line. I hoped. Wherever they were. They were smiling. Cheering me on. Proud of my efforts. As I write this, I’m struggling to keep tears at bay. Freddy and Elroy, hope you’re both resting in peace.

I arrived at the event with time to kill. An hour or so later, the entire group of 250+ women strong, started chanting. The atmosphere was electrifying. Next, it was time for the pre race drills. In no time, we were off. The first obstacle slowed me down; we waded through a rubber through, filled with muddy water. The obstacle course got more difficult. However, I somehow made it through every one; including the climbing frame, tyre hop, cargo net, and of course the mud pit.

Organisers left the muddiest, wettest, and slickest obstacle for the end. Using ropes I climbed to the top of a massive plastic mud splattered hut. I sat for a minute or two, closed my eyes, and slid down into 5ft of pure mud, water, and filth. Waiting at the bottom, and on either side, were two men. Massive shovels in hand, heaping filthy water onto competitors. As we struggled to crawl out of the pit. Good Ole fun!

One of the sweetest memory of the event, were the sounds of people cheering me on, as I headed towards the finish line. Complete strangers shouting: “Well done number 8!” Keep going number 8!” What a feeling. Indescribable. Amazing. Thrilling. I completed the event in 35 mins.

The only thing I would change, is working harder to reach my fundraising goal. I managed to raise £65. I am not good at asking people to give. Come next year, and the year after. I will do better. I plan on competing in this event, for as long as I can.

I am so very grateful I was blessed with the opportunity to do this. Humbled, I was able to honour the memory, and life of my two cousins. Race for Life Cancer Research UK. See you next year.

Until the next post,

Best,

Juan

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