I posted before I went on holiday, that me and Shay would be taking part in Heineken’s Race To The Tower event on the 10th of June. Well, the event has been and gone and I’d love to share the experience with you all, especially as some of you so kindly sponsored us – which we appreciate more than you will ever know!
This amazing trail marathon took place along the Cotswolds Way, somewhere I had never been before and was extremely excited about seeing. We decided we would walk instead of run as we had less than 6 weeks of training, I also haven’t run since before my illness last year so I wasn’t about to try for the first time at such a long distance. I’m glad we decided to walk because to put it bluntly, that was fucking hard enough!
The course itself was pretty brutal, so many hills! This was no ordinary marathon, with constantly changing terrain and steep climbs that were rewarded with breathtaking views.
This was an experience of a lifetime for me… to think that just a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have mentally been able to do it. It’s a testament to how far I’ve come with my anxiety disorder and that thought alone made me feel very emotional during the event, especially getting to the base camp and seeing that finish line. Another thing that made feel particularly emotional was how much this will help people with mental illnesses, being as Mind was the chosen charity for Race To The Tower. Lots of people in need of help will benefit from the money raised and that’s amazing to me. At a time where funding and resources are very low for mental health, that money raised is SO important.
I have to hand it to Heineken, they put on a damn good event that was extremely well organised. Being part of Team Heineken, they took such good care of us, sending us goodies for our training and things to keep us motivated. The pit stops were also super impressive – loads of food and drinks to re-energise and the base camp was incredible.
My favourite thing that happened…
At one point, literally at the peak of one of the hills, overlooking some stunning views, a herd of cows actually walked with us. We had to slow down because they’d surrounded us and they walked along side us for a good 15-20 minutes. After panting and heaving myself up this massive hill, to then experience this peaceful moment in nature was pretty incredible.
My least favourite thing that happened…
I swallowed a fly.
Things I’ll take away from this experience…
Firstly, the adrenaline was exceptional and no matter how anxious something makes me before I go into it, I know that I CAN do it and I’ll feel fucking fantastic afterwards. Secondly, I really want to keep raising money for mental health, so any suggestions would be wonderful. Thirdly, Heineken 0.0 really tastes like the real thing!
Thanks again to Heineken for having us on their team and inviting us to take part in such a brilliant event for a great cause. Also thank you to everyone who sponsored us, it means a lot. There’s still some time to donate if you wanted to sponsor us before and didn’t get chance: Any donation would be massively appreciated.
Also, check out the 52 Miles in 52 Seconds video on the Heineken UK Facebook page – you can see Shay at -47 seconds!!