Amy Streather took on the London Marathon in 2021 to support Headway - raising more than £11,000 in the process! As one of our Headway Heroes, we asked her about the reasons for tackling this epic challenge, and her experience of training, running and fundraising for charity.
"In 2019 my 90-year-old grandpa underwent emergency craniotomy for a brain abscess. Over the following months he had to learn how to eat, swallow and speak again. This ongoing emotional and physical battle was the toughest I have ever witnessed.
"His journey is what motivated me to run the marathon and, although it seemed like a huge and slightly daunting challenge for me, it was nowhere near as tough as the daily fight that he and others recovering from brain injuries face.
Those suffering with brain injury, like my grandfather, and their families are the reason that I ran the marathon for Headway. His fight and determination continue to inspire me every day.
I had trained and was ready to run the marathon back in April 2020, however unfortunately it did not take place due to Covid-19. I therefore lost my marathon fitness and when I realised that it might actually happen in October 2021, I started training again - a bit last minute - in July.
I found the shorter runs enjoyable but the long runs pretty boring when I was on my own. Luckily I had great support from family and friends and I picked beautiful places to run, including several laps around reservoirs, so that helped to keep the motivation up.
When the marathon eventually came around I felt a little less prepared than I would like to have been due to starting the training late, however I think most people felt the same way. I was however excited and ready to take on the challenge.
On marathon day the atmosphere was amazing. Chatting to people before and during the run, finding out their reasons for running. The support along the route was overwhelming and really helped to push me on when it got tough.
I will never forget running over Tower Bridge and seeing my partner and friends in the crowd cheering me on. I couldn't have done it without them and the support at home as well. Mile 20 onwards was very tough, but the thought of my grandpa's strength helped push me to the finish line.
I enjoyed the pint at the end! Celebrating with my partner and friends, one of which completed the marathon as well following the passing of her father two days before. He would have been incredibly proud of her.
I have raised a total of £11,066 (without Gift Aid). I feel very humbled by all of the generous people in my life that have donated.
I'm proud of the money that I raised and for completing the marathon on 4 hrs 33 min. It now feels strange when you no longer have to run for hours at the weekend.
I am enjoying having a bit more freedom back, but it was one of the best things I have ever done and I will never forget it. Thank you for the opportunity to run for Headway.
If you’ve been inspired by Amy's story and would like to take on a challenge of your own, we’d love to welcome you to Team Headway!
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