Memories of the BUPA Great Midland Run

Harpreet at the end of the run.
Harpreet at the end of the run.

October 20th, a cold Sunday morning, and I was up at 5am too excited to sleep. It was the day of my first ever half marathon. After all those months of training, the day had arrived and I was pumping with adrenaline.

It was in the middle of February when I applied for a place to run the half marathon, and I had applied with the sole purpose of raising as much money as I could for my chosen charity, Macmillan Cancer Support, after seeing, first hand, the amazing work they do. It was my first ever race – I hadn’t even ran 5km before – so I knew this was going to be a challenge, but the massive support I got along the way encouraged me to train hard.

Back to race day. I ate my porridge and banana and made sure my iPod was fully charged. I made my way into town and it was only then that I realised what I’d actually signed up for. The turn out was phenomenal with over 20,000 people running. The feeling of being part of something that big, and the knowledge that I was running for charity, overtook any nerves I had.

I joined in the warm up and lined up on the starting line, with the skies looking surprisingly clear. Then off I went. Before I knew it I was at the 4 mile mark and was running past Edgbaston Cricket Ground. Cadbury World was next and there were even a few people handing free chocolate out to the runners. The second half of the run involved many hills and it was here that I sustained an ankle injury, but the brilliant St John Ambulance first aiders patched me up right away and I kept plodding on.

The support was immense, with the crowd really getting behind you and encouraging you to keep going. Some people had even set up tables outside their houses offering water to any runners. I remember thinking “Man, I live in a great city” when a woman handed me some jelly babies as I ran past her. It was nice seeing Prof. White and Prof. Perryer spectating too!

I completed my first ever half marathon in a time of 2 hours 34 mins. Most importantly, I had raised over £700 for Macmillan Cancer Support whilst doing it. It was a great achievement and I’m even considering running next year!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all their support and all the donations. I’m sure all the money raised will help many lives. I am still fundraising post race and if you would like to donate you can do so by visiting my JustGiving page:
Once again, thank you for all the support and remember, “no one should have to face cancer alone“.

Harpreet Chowlia
(Year 4, BDS Birmingham)