Terry Goodwin who works for BBC Radio Stoke is set to run for Cure Leukaemia in the Morrisons Great Birmingham Run for the 4th year in a row. This is his blog about an event that he is only too happy to take part in every year.
So, the training's started again. It certainly doesn't seem a year since the build up to the 2014 Great Birmingham Run, which has rapidly grown into one of the biggest running events in the country. Once again, thousands of us are hitting the pavements, canal towpaths and parks of the Midlands, building up our miles for the main event.
I first got into running about eight or nine years ago, looking for a good way to get fit. I think the goal of an event to aim for really spurred me on, and having done a couple of 10ks, I thought I'd sign up to the first Birmingham Half Marathon when it launched in 2008.
That year, two of my colleagues were due to run with me but just days before, one of them got an injured. Undeterred, we borrowed a wheelchair and pushed them around the course! My first half marathon wasn't a straightforward – or easy – one. In truth, I hadn't trained enough and my finishing time was 2h42.
Since then, I've continued to run, particularly when it's a bit warmer. I'm not saying I'm a fairweather runner, but the Great Birmingham Run towards the end of October does seem a good pinnacle to the season, as winter approaches!
This will be my eighth half marathon in Birmingham, and my fourth for Cure Leukaemia. When the radio station I was working for back in 2012, BBC WM, started a charity appeal with Cure Leukaemia, it felt like a good time to get more involved in its work.
Over the subsequent months, I met Professor Craddock and many of the patients the charity supports. I was inspired by the personal impact Cure Leukaemia has, and how it has the potential to save lives. It's such a simple model – carrying out drug trials and giving people an extra chance to beat leukaemia. One of those I met along the way was Tony de Grey, who shared his story with our listeners and allowed us into his lives.
Tony's last few months fighting leukaemia was a real rollercoaster, but publicly he did some much for the charity. He and his son Jack even joined the BBC WM team on a busking tour around shopping centres in the West Midlands! Sadly, Tony wasn't able to win his battle, but his bravery encapsulated the spirit of Cure Leukaemia in general. A can-do attitude.
Since 2012, I've moved on from BBC WM but have continued to support the charity personally. The impact of it is felt much more widely than in Birmingham; helping patients across the whole of the West Midlands, from Stoke, to Hereford, to Coventry.
From such humble beginnings, the charity has grown and grown, and that's why I'm running for Cure Leukaemia again.
Training is going well. I write this, just eight weeks before the Great Birmingham Run, having completed a (rather slow) eight mile run. I know that the next few weeks will mean being disciplined to get the miles in, a few early morning runs around Westport Lake in Stoke-on-Trent, and longer distances at the weekend. I'm not sure a friend's stag do, wedding, and a few days away are going to help though!
This year, I am hoping to beat my 2014 time of 1h44. Earlier this year, I completed my first non-Brummie half marathon in Chester in 1h45 but there were fewer hills than the route around Bournville and Edgbaston!
Whatever happens, it's a great achievement for everyone involved in Team Cure Leukaemia to do the event, and raise some money in the process. On the finish line, I always say I'll never do it again! Same time next year?
If you'd like to donate to Terry's fundraising page click HERE.
To join Terry and run for Team Cure Leukaemia on Sunday October 18th email Joe@cureleukaemia.co.uk. If you are quick you may be able to register for free with some of the places we have available - all we ask in return in £300 in sponsorship.
WATCH - Terry being interviewed by Cure Leukaemia Trustee Phil Upton at the 2014 Great Birmingham Run:
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