Final Score

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So it’s just over a month since……….the marathon. I have come to loathe that word. The whole thing took over more of my life than I ever thought possible; and it seemed to be all I thought about, talked about, and looked forward to for the best part of a year. You can imagine the disappointment when the whole thing was cancelled – the first time in its history. The year I picked to run! Well despite the cancellation, we ran anyway. Laps of Central Park, followed by a very meandering route back to the hotel. No starting line, no finish line, no official time, just 26.2 miles completed. A marathon in New York.

I know all of you out there were probably fed up listening to the endless updates, not to mention the requests for donations to Southern Area Hospice Services and/or Alzheimer’s Society. There’s nothing worse than a timeline bore, but in this case I don’t feel one bit guilty. The BigFatMarathon Attempt 2012 has raised £4620.50 in total. Moody and I both paid our own way to get to New York, to stay there, and to enter the race – so this amount, in its entirety, goes straight to the charities. So thank you and fair play to everyone who donated online, to the local businesses who supported us, to the random people who gave me money in the street, and to the people I’ve never even met in person but only know of me via Twitter and this blog. We’ve raised so much more than we ever anticipated, and that’s the big result from this whole endeavour. I always said that I was running the marathon because it was something I wanted to do, just to say I did it; but it would have been remiss of me not to try and raise some money at the same time. I’m glad I did it this way. It wouldn’t have felt right signing up to run on behalf of any old charity, just to secure myself a holiday. That’s maybe a wee bit cynical of me, but that’s how I roll. Anyway, a list of thank yous, just to get them out of the way. Needless to say, this list isn’t exhaustive, and I apologise if I’ve missed anyone out.

Thank you to:

Moody – for supporting me throughout the whole weight thing and for running the marathon too
My parents – for putting up with my marathon huffiness, and for whipping up sponsorship
My Granny – for threatening the local community for sponsorship
Aunts and Uncles – for the same
Roisin, Fiona, and Shane – for providing listening ears on a daily basis and enjoying the gory details of training horror stories
Potat – for being an oasis of sound advice in a desert of fitness shit talk
The Twitterati – for all their kind words of support and empathy regarding running and weightloss

To everyone who beeped their horns at me when I was training, who roared out their windows, and politely ignored the sweat, snot and camel toe.

To the local businesses who gave generously:

John Mc Mahon and Co Accountants
Newry and Mourne Enterprise Agency
Whitegates Community Centre
Art Bar Funkel
Hughes Central Filling Station Camlough
McElroys Butchers Newry
The Bank Bar and Bistro
Deirdre Donnelly Massage Therapy
Cranney & McCabe Communications
Flogas
Northern Confectioners Dungannon
Sweet Supreme Fermanagh
Tullys Bar & Lounge Belleeks
Urban Roots Hairdressers
O’Briens Sandwich Bar Buttercrane
Seamus Mullan Newtownhamilton
Eugene Hughes Whitecross
Commons Furniture Newtownhamilton
Floral Expressions Newtownhamilton
Today’s Local Newtownhamilton
Elegance Beauty Camlough
O’Reillys Off License Camlough

Special mention also to the pupils and staff of St Malachys Primary School Ballymoyer, including Mrs Kathleen O Hare, for their generous donations and for inviting me to the school to say hello to the enthusiastic and inquisitive pupils!

Like I say, I will most certainly have missed someone out. I can only apologise and blame it on the fact that running makes you lose brain cells. I actually believe this. What other explanation can there be for all these people I see running around in the frost? I will finish on this note – what has running a marathon taught me?

1. Running can be fun.
2. Running isn’t always fun.
3. Always keep at least £2 in your bra for emergencies.
4. If you meet someone who knows everything there is to know about running, listen to them, then forget everything they tell you. You need to work things out for yourself.
5. Keep your iPod playlists fresh, but don’t run with music all the time. You don’t really need it.
6. Your underwear is more important than your outerwear.
7. There’s no shame in walking. Just don’t stop.
8. When you truly believe you can’t do something, that’s the time to try.
9. Give yourself a break. Just because others are faster, or more consistent, or thinner, or more beautiful – who cares? You’re doing your thing, your way. Don’t compare. We’re all different.
10. Don’t listen to the haters – when’s the last time they tried something new?
…..and finally
10b. Try to heed your own advice.

So that’s that. If you’re a local yokel, keep an eye out in the paper over the next week or two for cringey novelty cheque photos. For the not so locals, thank you all once again. I never thought I’d buy into the whole notion of cyber friendships, but I have been pleasantly surprised! I owe you all a drink. A real one, not the stupid Facebook ones from years ago. I faithfully promise not to pollute your timelines again with endless rants about running. If, and I stress if, I run another event again – I will be keeping it on the down low. And I will never mention the M word again.

Toodles,

McCooey.

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