This is my first ever sponsored sporting event! I have always made every effort to support friends and family when they do something similar but after losing my mum, following a long three year struggle with Dementia in 2017, something inside me craved a coping strategy. The fallout of losing someone who meant so much to me and played such a big part in making me the person I am, meant my mental health suffered in the weeks and months that followed.
No backing out now.
I had read that exercise – and running in particular – is often a cited as a way of helping in these circumstances so I bought myself an expensive pair of running shoes (so I couldn’t back out!) and starting planning the next few months. I started with small runs around local country lanes, then progressed to 5k Park Runs, then entered a couple of 10k races and by the time I had run the Rhyl 10 miler (proudly debuting my new Dementia UK running vest!) the running bug had officially got me! I thought running a half marathon would be the obvious next step as I seemed to be going up through the distances. I decided to go down the sponsorship route as Dementia has played a big part in my recent life and seeing my mum slowly decline over the past few years leading up to her eventual passing was hard. I was keen that something positive should come out of the whole experience. I was really pleased when I saw that Dementia UK were putting together a team for the Cardiff Half – my home country and my capital city.
The end is in sight, or is it?
My friends and family are all for it as they see just how beneficial running has been to me over the past few months and they all know how much this cause means to me.
When I cross the finishing line I will be tired but really happy. I get told by everyone who has supported me that my mum would be proud of what I am doing. She would be, I am sure – but she was always the sort of person who didn’t want a fuss made of her so would probably tut and raise her eyebrows too when she hears that I am running down a few streets in her name!
My plan is to continue to move on up the miles, keeping the Dementia UK sponsorship journey going along the way – but let’s get this one out of the way first!
Good luck Tom!
Apply for a charity place at this year’s Cardiff Half Marathon or, if you have your own place, why not join #TeamDementiaUK and help families facing dementia?