Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Running on Empty: Great North Run 2014

It's exactly one year today since I received the call to tell me that my much-loved friend Mags Maciver - Charlotte's godmother - had died. 

She'd beaten breast cancer once, she'd beaten leukaemia once but beating leukaemia twice was just beyond her.  And I say without hesitation that her passing has changed my entire outlook on life.

Although I hadn't seen Mags for quite a while, we'd kept in touch by phone. And when she told me in May last year that the leukaemia had returned, there wasn't a cell in my body which didn't believe she would see it off once again. As far as I was concerned, it was merely a set-back which she could clearly do without. Sadly it wasn't to be.

Over the past 12 months, I've thought about her a lot. Indeed, she regularly and miraculously pops into my mind when I'm on the verge of becoming more irritated than I should be about something that really doesn't matter.

That's her role now; walloping me over the head with her angel wand when I well and truly need it - which is quite often, I can assure you.

And then we move on to Good Friday this year when I heard the news that another longtime friend, David McClarty, had been taken from us by lymphoma. Again, David had been Ill for some time but, when I last saw him in February, his recovery was gaining pace and the prospects were good.

David was one of a very rare breed - a selfless politician. He loved the Borough of Coleraine and the Borough of Coleraine loved him. I thought of him only on Monday when it was confirmed that Royal Portrush Golf Club would host the 2019 Open Championship. That would have delighted David, and he would have been to the fore to make sure the North Coast looked its best for what will be the biggest week for the area in recent memory.

The day after David lost his battle, I contacted his son Alan to float an idea. Earlier this year I chucked my name into the ballot for the 2014 Great North Run.  It wasn't a challenge I was planning to take on again. Having already done it three times, bits are now either hanging off me or have already left the building. But, on a whim, I decided to complete the form and let fate dictate the outcome. It chose to take £50 out of my bank account and send me an email to tell me I was in. Oh goody.

When I was in touch with Alan, I told him about Mags and suggested that I nominate Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research as the beneficiary of my Great North hobble in memory of her and David. He was very quick to offer his full support, as has Mags' lovely mum Moira. So that's what's going to happen.

The event will take place on Sunday 7 September, my fundraising page has been set up and you can access it by clicking HERE. Any support you choose to offer will be greatly appreciated. 

Now then, has anyone seen my trainers?