Six weeks until the big day! My first marathon
Six months ago I applied to a small charity called The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (DSWT) to become a member of their team running in the 2018Brighton Marathon. The DSWT is an organisation that rescues, rehomes and rehabilitates orphaned animals, including elephants, rhinos and giraffes, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The charity employs local residents, many of which provide 24-hour care to the rescued animals. Needless to say, running costs are high, so funds raised by people like me are crucial to ensure their existence.
I was introduced to the DSWT by my brother, who visited the park several times during his employment in Kenya. Both my sons and mother foster orphans, so the DSWT was a natural selection for me. Can you imagine how much it costs to feed thirty baby elephants around the clock? And that’s not even to mention the running costs of the planes, ambulances and trucks large enough to transport such large creatures!
I was so excited to get my acceptance in October 2017 and immediately wanted to know who my teammates were, and to set up a WhatsApp group to discuss running strategies and complain about blisters and compression shorts! However, as it turned out, of the 11,000 participants, I will be the only one wearing the DSWT pinny! So there are no team mates, there will be no tent at the event village and there is definitely no WhatsAapp group. Instead my cheerleaders will be my family (and what good cheerleaders they are!) and two amazing friends who are also running.
I must admit, training has been difficult at times. I am tired, sore and pretty much sick and tired of running in the cold and dark. However, the next four weeks are going to be crucial to my training, with16, 18 and 20 mile training runs already booked in the diary. And that’s not to mention the Surrey Half Marathon that I will be running on Mother’s Day! Yes, spare time is short right now, but I am certain that I have made the right decision. The last four months have been a true test of character but it all feels worth it knowing that I have helped raise money for an amazing charity. So I am as prepared as I will ever be so bring it on Brighton!
If you would like to find out more about the DSWT please visit their website- https://www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org And of course, if you would like to help support a worthy cause and give me even more inspiration to get over that finish line on April 15th, my fundraising page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jessica-salter1.
Jessica Salter – Senior Consultant Bluetree