In this concluding part of Share trustee Phoebe Scriven's London Marathon diary, Phoebe reflects on race day, what success actually looks like and what it means to be a part of a community such as Share.
Marathon diary: Success?
At my old work, a question I used to ask clients a lot was ‘what does success look like?’. What we meant was that when you get to the end of this work, this project, this campaign, what will make you turn back and feel satisfied with what you have achieved? Where will you be standing?
In this case, when you run a race for charity, what does success look like? Is it in the training, campaigning, preparing, fundraising or finishing?
On Sunday 23rd April, I – clad in my yellow Share vest – lined up with 40,000 other runners to tackle the most famous marathon in the world.
Around 11 miles later, I blacked out, collapsed, and was moved (I assume) by kind bystanders to the side of the road where a paramedic attended me for the 20 minutes that I was unconscious and the further hour or so that I took to slowly come around and regain awareness. My temperature had spiked, which, alongside a low blood pressure and high pulse, caused me to crash out. No amount of training had prepared me for the fact that my recent cold had spread into my chest; the unfortunate combination knocked me for six when I had tried to run.
Sitting in an ambulance, having not even had the chance to run pass the Share supporters, drenched in sweat as my body desperately tried to regulate itself, was not what I had seen as success.
Now a few days later, I’ve been thinking it over.
You may have followed my highs and lows during training in Part 1 and 2 of this blog (if not: do have a read, I’m told they are highly amusing). They can – and I can – testify to the fact that my training was a success. I spent hours running in preparation and looking back, each and every run felt like a win.
Campaigning, another facet of this venture, was brilliant – completely carried out by the amazing team at Share, who garnered support and interest through energetic social media, emails and more.
As for preparation? Within the limits of my abilities and foresight, I had never been better prepared, supported or more excited to do a race. I was fitter than I had ever been in my life – including when I ran my only other marathon.
The fundraising was even better: I was astounded by the generosity of Share staff, the community, my family and friends, and others, whom I hadn’t even met. Having been on the fundraising committee for as long as I had been a trustee at Share, I am constantly impressed by the depths of generosity I see.
But I didn’t finish.
The past few days were not what I had envisioned but they did redefine success for me.
It was the kindness of strangers, who looked after me when I collapsed. It was the support that Share’s staff and students unquestionably gave me and the kind words and concern despite the hours they had spent preparing, travelling and waiting at the roadside for me to run by. It was that so many people invested time, money and cheer to make this work. It was that I was ok in the end.
I didn’t finish – and I’ll always be a bit sad about this – but we did everything else and more. From where I stand now, that looks a lot like success.
Thank you to the amazing staff, students, trustees, community, donors and more who all made this a success. We raised £2690 (including Gift Aid) due to your generosity and support, were the catalyst to a fitness campaign internally at Share and raised Share’s profile even more.