Live Wire - April 19, 2013

Sarah Holden
Sarah Holden
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Written by Sarah Holden

Nothing is going to stop me from taking part in the London Marathon on Sunday.

I’m watching the aftermath of the appalling attack on the oldest annual marathon in the world. I am sickened by this act. But along with 35,000 other runners taking part nothing will stop me.

Being a 35-year-old working mum of a 13 and 14 year old meant marathon running did not top my list of things to do in spare time.

And when I say working mum, I really mean it! My job is looking after 12,000 hens, ducks , geese, goats, rhea, a llama and a few cats! I am a full time farmer running ‘Happy Chicks’ in Preesall with my husband.

I’ve always believed I was fit, especially working outside all day. It wasn’t until my teenage daughter decided she wanted me to run with her that I realised how unfit I was. I managed 800 metres and stopped to be sick three times. After seeing the upset in my daughter’s face I knew I could do better and started running every night with her. Emma’s face lit up when we managed our first mile together. The adrenaline was so contagious my 14 year old son started to run with us.

Within a couple of weeks I was hooked! Something changed after that. I was focused – on running. Every spare evening I ran, on my day off I was dropped off 13-20 miles away so I could run home. Within weeks I lost three stone and gained a huge amount of energy.

The easiest thing was choosing the charity. Six years ago, I nearly lost my life to asthma. My children nearly lost their mother, and my husband his wife. There is nothing like a fright to kick you into shape. I have since made lifestyle changes, avoided my triggers. I will always be asthmatic, but for now it’s controlled.

It has taken five and a half months for me to get to this point – two days from the world’s best marathon. I’ve been through every emotion, pushed myself to the limit, and at times thought I was going crazy. The pain in your legs and exhaustion is nothing to what happens in your head. It makes you strong. If you could bottle up those endorphins and sell them it would be a best seller. Nothing beats it. And we won’t be beaten by terrorism.