20 April 2015: Jo’s 2015 Challenge for EBAT
Jo’s 2015 “Challenge”
I had known Bally since 2006 and when she died, I think it is fair to say that I was devastated. I knew then, that I had to do something constructive in support of EBAT and Bally’s vision. But what could I do? I mean, I can’t run or anything like that.
Then again, in Bally’s mind there was no such word as “can’t”
So, I decided to challenge myself and I joined a local running club. (ME? A Running Club??) I also registered with park run and every Saturday morning at 9am I was out there in a local park, for a 5k run. My times were recorded and I had the satisfaction of seeing them improve over the following months.
From here, the idea for my 2015 “Challenge” emerged. I found (by accident) a link to the Olympic Park 10K race series and saw that there was a race at the beginning of January 2015. Having been a GamesMaker in 2012, and also bearing in mind that Bally was an Olympian, where better than to kick off a challenge like this? Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, on a route which travels through the shadows of our iconic Olympic Stadium seemed like a good place to start.
Saturday January 3rd
was my 10K “debut” in the pouring rain (yeah well this IS London), puddle-jumping my way around the course. Enough, you might think, to put anyone off… Oh no. Not me. Since then, I have taken part in at least 5 10K events, of which 3 have now been on the Olympic Park course. Today (Sunday 19th
April) in Hyde Park was the latest instalment with a respectable 1:28 time.
The rest of my “Challenge schedule (to date) is:
Hyde Park 5/10K
Finsbury Park 10K
South Woodham Ferrers 10K (Essex)
Newham 10K (finishes in Olympic Stadium)
Twilight 10K – IPSWICH!! (Yes, I know it’s Bally’s birthday…)
Royal Parks Half Marathon.
So there you have it! Hyde Park is also a very special place for me to run, because in September 2006, not long after I first knew Bally, both of us ran in a 5k event together. When I say “together” I mean I kept up with her for about 500m then she disappeared in a cloud of dust and I didn’t see her again until the end of the race!! The route which I ran today included those 500m.