Back in October at the Mental Health Matters conference, I stood in front of the whole organisation and made a statement of intent, not only to fundraise for a wonderful cause but another excuse for me to get moving, start training again, and push myself to do something I’ve not done before. I feel that announcing it publicly or writing it down gives you the commitment to carry on even when times are tough, and you want to give up.

Initially, I announced that I would be attempting two back-to-back ultra marathons, however, due to some injuries and guidance from professionals this evolved into a 10k trail over the Malvern Hills and the London Marathon (My Way, around Hereford). The 10k was great fun as I have done these distances before, but the Marathon was something I had never attempted but always fancied giving it a go. I didn't make the ballot place for London but was offered a place in the 'virtual event' and grabbed the chance.

I started at 5.45 am to see the sunrise and it was spectacular, listening to TalkSport for the company I plodded the lanes, river paths, fields, and city of Hereford without issue (apart from a tiny heat spot on my foot). At 8 miles I realised I had the wrong socks on and this was the cause, by mile 12 it had evolved into substantial blistering on both feet! With a quick pitstop into a local garage, I wrapped them and proceeded to visit local villages until mile 19 when I hit the wall. I've never hit it previously but heard people talk about it, armed with Jelly Babies and a banana for nutrition and morale, I was going very, very slowly. Something that the virtual event lacks is the crows offering support to keep going, I just had me, my thoughts, and the last few seconds of my headphone batteries! I walked for what felt like miles but was probably a few hundred feet before I had a word with myself, told myself I only had about 5 miles left, and started to jog again. Being passed by Sunday morning runners was tough (I kept thinking about how I must have looked whilst hobbling on my blisters and going so slowly). The thought of getting back for my daughter's St Georges's Day parade was now at the front of my mind, I needed to make it, and with a couple of miles left to run I did, with beaming smiles I enjoyed seeing her carry the flag and continued to finish the marathon in 7 hours 40 mins, followed by an ice bath and Sunday roast!

During my time in the military and transitioning into civilian life I was fortunate enough to be involved with some wonderful organisations that supported me both physically and mentally, giving me the platform to push myself and my injuries even further. My initial goal was and still is to become the very best version of myself, which became supporting others in similar situations, and most recently raising money for charity.

I am delighted to say I have surpassed the goal and have raised £600 and would like to thank everyone for donating!