Elaine Completes the Loch Ness Marathon in Aid of St Oswald's Hospice

“I could never run a marathon but it was all worth it to raise money for such a great and important cause”

Elaine is a seasoned half-marathon runner however the prospect of turning around at the finish line and running the same distance again was something she’d convinced herself she couldn’t do.

It wasn’t until she and a friend heard a radio advert for the London Marathon that their conversation quickly turned from can’t do to can do, and the pair decided to research marathons for their next challenge.

Elaine explained, “I started Googling marathons and discovered the Loch Ness Marathon. I was instantly drawn to this as my Dad had grown up in Inverness and we holidayed there every year. It holds such happy memories for me

So I was driving one day when the London Marathon came on the radio. I turned to my friend who was in the passenger seat and exclaimed rather loudly “I could never run a marathon!”  We’d both done half marathons before and I would get to the finish line and think, “There’s no way I could turn around and run that all over again to make it a marathon” The more we talked about how we couldn’t it, the more I thought, do you know what, I’m going to try and do it! So I started googling marathons and there was the Loch Ness Marathon! I was instantly drawn to this as my Dad grew up in Inverness and we went there every year for family holidays. I have very happy memories of Inverness and of course, I’m still trying to spot Nessie! It also has a great reputation for being one of the most scenic marathons. I also love the idea of being driven 26 miles from the city and just having to run back!

The day of the marathon really was a challenge! I remember being at the start line looking around at my fellow runners and seeing a mixture of nerves and excitement in us all. As we ran through the start line bagpipers lined either side of the road, and it felt like a special Scottish salute to all of us and the many miles we had ahead of us. That was a really special moment. Those 26.2 miles held challenges – the uphills, the downhills, the feeling of “is this ever going to end?” but I’d take them any day for the spectacular views and the shared experience of running together.

I chose to run for  St Oswald’s Hospice as in January this year our friend Mary passed away having been diagnosed with bowel cancer only 9 months earlier. Towards the end of her life she moved into a comfortable room at St Oswalds where she could spend her final days in the care of the most professional, empathetic, and amazing team. St Oswalds allowed her wife, her dog, her family, and her friends to spend time with her in ways we never imagined we could. She was treated with the utmost dignity and respect as were all we. All the early mornings, late nights, lonely miles and broken toenails were all worth it to raise money for such a great and important cause.


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