Posted by: mads04 | August 11, 2014

100 miles with MND

On September the 21st I’m going to attempt the English half marathon and with the 13 miles that it consists of it will take my official mileage with MND to 100. I never intended this to be my goal but when I fucked up this years London marathon I dotted the miles up I’d accumulated and figured I weren’t that far off a hundred and not being one to shy away from a challenge thought fuck it I’ll have a pop at this!

I’ve written a few a funny tales of the runs we’ve done but probably the best ones are from the very first marathon we attempted in Liverpool. About 30 of us done it that day, some doing the 10k which was incorporated into the marathon and the rest doing the full 26 miles. To start with out of the 30 or so people doing it with us only around 5 had ever done a marathon so the rest were in very deep water, I’m sure when they were asked to do it they thought it was a good idea and for a good cause but come the end of the day I was getting called every name under the sun!! We had my mates dads Peter and Phil Skinley who are brothers and both over 60 and thought they could walk it, if you remember the old men out the muppets show sat in the side box of the theatre always complaining then that’s what these two are, they only have to look in the mirror to start an argument. (Who the fuck are you lookin at?) anyway after completing 13 miles, they came out of the Mersey tunnel at the Liverpool end in about 4 hours they’d had enough and walked to their local pub cursing my name!!
I remember seeing them at around 9 miles and them shouting over to me “You can fuck off you” obviously trying to keep my spirits up!!! Then there was Paddy and Gerard who had never done a marathon before. Gerard was a fit lad, he was a boxing coach and everything he done fitness wise was short bursts of energy stuff not long distance fitness which is what you need for 26 miles. I seen him over the road at around 17 miles I shouted over “Gerard” and waved at him he gave me the finger and shouted “You can fuck off you” another great morale booster for me!! Poor Paddy had trained hard and he done brilliantly but when he was crossing the finish line his little lad James ran up to him wanting to share this moment with his dad only for Paddy to knock him out the way and vomit everywhere.
I ran my race accompanied with Willy and his girl Paula, Peter and his brother Michael and Carlos. Now Carlos is a great lad and I love him to bits, he’s my mates lad but I treat him like my own, him and his girl have just had a baby boy and to my surprise they called him Maddox which is a nice touch. Carlos isn’t the sharpest tool in the box though and decided the night before the marathon to go on a bender so he turned up looking like an extra from the walking dead! So as you can imagine doing 26 miles after a night out in Liverpool wasn’t one of his better ideas but fair play to him he could easily have not turned up and took a lifetime of abuse off me!! After a few miles we started walking and when I looked at Carlos he was the colour of boiled shite and was walking like he was actually having a boiled shite so with me being the sympathetic person that I am I told him “It’s your own fuckin fault, stop moaning”.

Peter and Michael were going along ok until Michael’s knee started blowing up around 10 miles and had to drop out when we seen an ambulance, I’ve known Michael all his life and he was gutted but he’s doing this half marathon with us so I’ll be able to remind him how much of a wimp he was that day!! Peter who can’t even run a bath never mind a marathon was surprisingly doing ok but Paula was feeling like shit and around 17 miles she had to stop. I felt really sorry for her because she’d never done anything like this so getting as far as she did was a tremendous effort, Willy stayed with her and told us he’d catch us up but we were on Upper Parliament street which is a massive up hill road so we thought that was the end of his race. About a mile later we were walking an turned round and here was Willy with his little chicken legs catching us up. Willy is about 8 stone wet through and is built like an ironing board so to see him behind us was a massive shock.

Tony who had ran the race and finished earlier came back to about 24 miles to finish with us and I’ll never forget the look of surprise on his face when he seen us because I was in the front of our group carrying the rucksack on my back which I decided to carry because the other three could just about carry themselves and Willy, Peter and Carlos were lagging behind me looking and probably feeling like they’d been ran over by a bus. I was on a mission to finish to be honest and no doubt the other three were thinking “You can fuck off you”

Now I’ve written about Keith Ten Pow before, a legend who’s been living with MND for 20 years so to see him in his wheelchair near the end was a massive boost to all of us, he wanted to cross the finish line with us which was emotional to say the least. His smiling face was just the thing we needed to get us to the end. He even beat me to the finish line and got a medal at the end (for doing less than a mile in his chair! Cheeky bastard!! )

At the end there was a huge crowd of family and friends which was brilliant and the day as a whole was a fantastic experience and definitely gave me the strength and focus to do more. Just a quick point Carlos ended up in hospital that night on a drip and never attempted a marathon again (Fuckin wimp!!)

I’d had MND nearly 2 years when we done the Liverpool marathon and I can honestly say it was the toughest thing I’ve ever done but also the most rewarding. To be told I had MND 22 months before was a huge bombshell to some one as active as me so to cross that finish line with people who I love and love me back in equal measure was and still is a memory I’ll never forget.

It’s been an amazing experience doing the 100 miles, it’s not done yet but nothing will stop me now and so to MND, this terminal illness that not just changed my life but also the lives of the people around me I say “You can fuck off you”

Keep smiling and remember the more you believe the more you can do

To be continued…..

Mark #100MilesWithMND

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