What inspired you to take part in this year's London Marathon?
It was a fantastic opportunity to raise money for Papworth Trust. But I also believe in never asking anyone to do anything I'm not prepared to do. As we were asking for runners, it just seemed obvious really. It was a great way to raise the profile of Papworth Trust, a great way to raise money and hopefully have a bit of fun.
Is this something that has been on the 'bucket list' and, if so, why?
I used to run quite a bit. My last half marathon was about 10 years ago - and I’ve done the North, South, West but not the East, which I’m hopefully going to do in October this year. Although it wasn’t at the top of my thoughts as a must-do, as soon as the opportunity arose I just thought it was something I needed to do. I’m turning 50 later this year and I don’t want to be doing it much later than that. That said, I know there will be runners in their 50s, 60s and 70s who will probably be overtaking me!
What has been the most difficult part of training for the event?
I’m glad that there is some nicer weather now as starting in December wasn’t particularly pleasant. I’ve been using the guided bus route as I live in Fenstanton at the moment and it is really convenient. It used to be pitch black running to St Ives, so I’d be wearing a headlight and the bus route can be like a wind tunnel. So the most difficult thing has certainly been keeping the motivation to train and run when it’s not nice weather, dark and you know you are going to get soaked and freezing cold. But that’s all behind me now as we have nice warm weather and daylight. That said, I hope it's not too hot on the day.
And what has surprised you the most?
Dare I say it, the boredom of running. The most I’ve run previously is for a couple of hours, but running for four-and-a-half hours can get quite dull. I’ve tried e-books, radio stations, podcasts, playlists – I even took my dog running with me for part of the way, but she got bored of it after a while and refused to come out with me. I do admire long distance runners, they must get into a special place in their heads and be really focused.
What are you most looking forward to on Sunday?
The atmosphere. I’m slightly anxious about it but also really looking forward to it. Having never been to a London Marathon before, I don’t know what to expect. But I’ve read some blogs and some of the runners advise you to just be aware that it can be quite overwhelming.
It’s going to be amazing, I only intend doing this the once so I want to soak up every piece of the atmosphere and take it with me. The other thing I’m really looking forward to is getting to the finish line!
What will keep you going on Sunday?
A conversation I had yesterday with Sue, one of our volunteers who supports us in HR. She said the most amazing words to me yesterday and sometimes it’s the little things that keep you going. Someone saying ‘we have faith in you’ or ‘just do your best’ is so meaningful and really mirrors the values of Papworth Trust. I’ve read some lovely comments through the very kind and generous donations and messages on my fundraising page – I will be thinking of them all when I’m running.
Who will be there cheering you on?
My husband will probably be the loudest person cheering. He has been amazing during my training and has been a great motivator, even riding alongside me on his mountain bike. My family will be back at home (also looking after the dogs) but watching on TV. There are also some great people from Papworth Trust coming which I’m very grateful for and some friends and colleagues will be scattered along the way.
How will you be celebrating your achievements after Sunday's race?
Probably with a nice cold Guinness, vegan pizza and a huge pile of chocolate.
What would you like to say to everyone who has sponsored and supported you?
Just the biggest thank you. The support has been amazing - people asking how my training is going has been wonderful and really keeps me motivated. I have had some wonderful messages, donations and sentiments throughout the last three months, which has been phenomenal.
I am aiming for a five-hour completion, but more realistically it will be five-and-a-half hours, I am sure. I’m not quick but hopefully I’ll do it in style!
Visit Sarah Miller's London Marathon 2019 fundraising page
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