FitzRoy staff are fantastic fundraisers!

Published: May 25, 2016

We are incredibly proud of Lou Macmillan, Deputy Manager at FitzRoy Rural Skills, who pushed herself to her limit to run the London marathon and raise money for people with learning disabilities. Find out what kept her going, even on rainy days

The project I work at, FitzRoy Rural Skills, needed to raise money for a classroom so when the FitzRoy Marathon place became available I thought, let’s combine a personal challenge with a cause that I am passionate about.

Training, training, and a bit more training¦ I followed a four-month program, but mostly the weather was cold, wet and very windy! I nearly gave up but then my friends and family started to sponsor me and post supportive messages motivating me to get out of bed and run in the rain before work.

Marathon Week – Too much pasta and chicken, I kept thinking I must give up carbs afterwards!!

Marathon day – I only slept for a couple of hours. I was excited but was also feeling the pressure of having to actually do it now after talking about it for months, I didn’t want to let everyone down. Travelling to Greenwich Park for the start really got the butterflies going. At each tube stop more and more Marathon runners were getting on “ it was starting to feel very real.
There was a really friendly atmosphere, everybody was chatting and asking what charity I was running for. It was great seeing at all the people in fancy dress. The countdown from 10 was deafening, but it still took 20 minutes to get to the start line.

Over the start line. As we ran up through the first residential area I couldn’t believe how many people were watching. The noise was incredible. People opened their windows and put music on and made banners to spur us on and make us smile. Children were holding their hands out for high fives. The feeling of being part of this huge event was quite overwhelming. I will always remember running over Tower Bridge, but that was still only half way. At about 17 miles it hit me just how much further I had to go – but walking or stopping was not an option. Jelly Babies and looking out for my family spurred me on.

The 25 mile mark was when I realised that I was actually going to complete it. The next sign said 600 metres to go. It was the longest 600 metres, but running down The Mall with crowds cheering us on was the most incredible feeling. Over the finish line. Within seconds my medal was around my neck and everywhere I looked there were exhausted but happy people. I felt part of something amazing.

I am so proud that not only did I complete the Marathon I was able to help the Rural Skills Project and all the incredible people who I have supported and worked with for the last five years at FitzRoy.