I woke the morning of the Mini Marathon with such a knot in my stomach. Would I actually be able to keep running for 10km? Would I manage to find everyone beforehand and sort out all our t-shirts? Had I told everyone where we were meeting? Did I really have 35 friends and family crazy enough to do this thing with me? And was that blasted rain I heard outside?
Oh yes, yes it was. Rain and LOTS OF IT. It was the worst bank holiday weather that I can remember. But it takes a lot to keep a Diva down – everyone trundled on in with smiles on their faces with an attitude of ‘let’s do this thing’.
I know I’m biased because I am one, but women are truly amazing creatures. It was so overwhelming to have a group from all different corners of my life come together to raise money for my little girl’s charity. My Mum who turns 70 this year (secret’s out, sorry Mam!) did it. My sister did it. My sister-in-law and her friends did it. Aunts, cousins and even cousins’ partners from both sides of the family did it. A group of my closest and oldest friends did it. So many of my adland gal pals did it. My reflexologist-turned-amazing-friend did it. Friends of friends did it. You all did it. And you’ve no idea how much it means to me.
As a parent of a child with an illness, I’ve always said that the Mini Marathon works on two levels. Yes, it’s an opportunity to raise much-needed funds. And that’s beyond important. But it also raises your emotional resilience. It reminds you that even though your family may have extra challenges to face, you are far from alone. To have people come out in solidarity with you gives you the boost you need to stay positive and push on. And I hope that when Eva is old enough to understand all of this, that she looks back on our fundraisers and takes strength from the fact that even though she may have to fight some battles in her life, she has an army standing behind her.
Speaking of my little salty muse, the most amazing feeling of the day was seeing her and Danny (in their wet gear!) at the end of the race. I really struggled with the last 3k (I had shooting sciatica pains and thought we’d never get to the finish line!), but it was so worth when I got that ‘cuggle’. ‘Mammy, you all wet!’ Yes chickie, Mammy is all wet. Wet from rain, sweat and happy tears.
So now the next Bank Holiday is upon us. And while the weather isn’t much better, the Eva’s Divas fundraising forecast is red hot. The pledges are in and the figures are high. I’m beyond proud to say that this amazing group of women has raised €10,086 for Cystic Fibrosis Ireland. Thank you so much to you all for your time, your ability to sweet talk cash out of people and your incredible emotional support. And of course thank you to everyone who sponsored Eva’s Divas – your generosity means so much and will achieve so much.
CF Ireland called it their ‘One in 1,000’ campaign. I called it ‘One in 1,000 for my one in a million’. And now we’re signing off the story with ‘10K for 10K’. A complete and utter happy ending.