This page is all about you our runners. It’s the chance to tell your stories and let everyone know about your journey to the finish line. We are all different with different challenges and tales to tell – but we are all Reading Half and Green Park Challenge runners!
If you have a story to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Reading Half Marathon 2019 was my first every race of any sort and I had entered on a whim. Unfortunately in the November of 2018 I was sexually assaulted and the months that followed weren’t great for me. Entries were about to close for the 2019 race so I signed up having never ran before.
At this year's race, I am running for the charity that helped me through the dark days, which is The Trust House in Reading. I am hoping to take 30-40 minutes off 2019’s time!
My training tip would be not to worry about what anyone else is doing, what speed people are running at or how many times a week they are running - just do "you"!
Rob & Rachel's story
We found out we were pregnant on 10th October 2019. After a dizzy spell on the train and some pain, I was advised to go to the John Radcliffe Hospital to check if the pregnancy was ectopic. Thankfully, this was not the case and on 29th October 2019 we discovered that we were pregnant with identical twins. It began to become apparent that there was some difference in growth between the 2 girls which needed monitoring to make sure there wasn’t a significant difference. At a scan on the 10th January, the growth differential had increased and unfortunately one of the research fellows had spotted a reverse wave. This is where the blood flows the wrong way from one baby to another and is a significant symptom of a condition called Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS).
On the 16th January, we ventured to London and were seen quickly by the amazing consultant there. Following a quick scan of the girls he explained that unfortunately their condition had deteriorated, and action was required in order to try to save them.
It was more difficult than he had anticipated due to the proximity of the girls’ cords, but he did the most amazing job given the difficulty. A scan a couple of hours after the procedure showed that Zoe’s heart rate had started to slow down, and he advised that we went for a scan in Oxford the next day to check how things were.
The next day we had the devastating news that they could no longer see Zoe’s heartbeat: as the donor twin she had been giving her blood to Keziah and unfortunately sealing the blood vessels had not helped. Zoe had died at just before 18 weeks.
Keziah was born at 31 + 3 weeks as the placenta came away requiring an emergency C section on 18th April. Thankfully both mum and baby were fine, although Keziah needed to stay in hospital for 5 weeks to get to a suitable weight before coming home.
We owe so much to the hospital for the procedures that they undertook to try save the lives of both of our girls and to look after me during the pregnancy and with subsequent after care and we are raising money for The Silver Star Society Fund 0347 to buy a CTG machine which monitors baby during pregnancy if there are issues, and also during birth. Keziah, Zoe and I will be cheering Rob on as he completes the Reading Half Marathon in 2021.
I’m 39 and I started running after I was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour requiring brain surgery in 2011. I ran my first charity run in 2012, the Reading Half and have ran it most years since. I even had the number 1 one year I’ve done lots of different runs since, 10k, Tough Mudders, Hell Runners etc.
I went on to have further surgery in 2015, and I’m now having radiotherapy and will start chemotherapy in March. But I WILL run the Half no matter what, together with my personal trainer who has helped keep me fit and healthy!
My biggest running event I’ve done was in 2018, my first ever full marathon, in London, where myself, family and friends raised a huge amount of money for the brain tumour charity - over £10k.
I believe fitness has played a huge part in my recovery and successful journey so far - that and my 4 boys! I’m running the Reading Half this year, whether it April or November, and I’ll still be doing chemo, but I think it’s key for people to hear the success stories of brain tumours! It’s horrible to live with this but I’m making the best I can! I did another charity event for January, for Maggies cancer centre, which was to run 50 miles in January. Thought may be a challenge as I started radiotherapy on 4th Jan but the 50 miles were completed in first week and I’m looking at nearly 200 by end of Jan!! I won’t let this beat me and I will raise as much money as I can for brain tumour research to help for the future.
See you at the finish line!