Great Manchester Run

Posted on: 19th May 2017

Christina Wilks and Katrina Eccles are raising money for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital neuro-ward

On Sunday 28th May, 2 members of our children and young people’s (CYP) case management team are taking part in the 2017 Great Manchester Run half marathon.

Christina, regional manager of the Sheffield CYP team, signed up after receiving an email from the organisers. “I mentioned it to Katrina, as we’d been talking about wanting to get fit,” she says.

The pair are looking forward to the race, though their training hasn’t exactly gone to plan.

“I signed up for it because I thought it would motivate me to get back into training,” says Katrina, senior administrator for the Sheffield CYP team. “That was in September 2016 and I thought we had plenty of time! I didn’t actually start training until January this year and it’s been a bit hit and miss since then. The furthest I’ve run in one go is 4 miles. The half marathon is 13.1 miles!”.

“We shall do it,” says Christina, “though we’ve not perhaps trained as much as we’d intended.”

Committed to running the race, they decided to raise money for the Sheffield Children’s’ Hospital neuro ward. “It was the extra motivation we needed,” says Katrina. “We wanted to support a local charity and the CYP team have fundraised for the neuro ward before.“

“We like the idea of the money we raise going towards a family room, to give families a little bit of space while their child is having treatment,” says Christina. “While the trust can’t promise what the money will be spent on specifically, they said they will consider the suggestion.”

"I think that running in general is good for mental health - there’s nothing like it really.”

It’s going to be an early start for our runners, as they need to be there by 7.45am, ready to go at 9am.

“It’s a shame it starts so early,” says Katrina. “A few people had said they would come and support us but I think it will be a bit too early for them, being on a Sunday - especially those coming from the Sheffield area.”

Having not taken part in a long-distance race for some time - Katrina did the Dronfield 10k run 4 years ago and Christina did the Great North Run half marathon 2 years ago - neither are setting themselves a target finish time but instead will focus on completing and enjoying the race.

“I’ve learnt not to anticipate running every single mile of a long-distance race,” says Christina. “I read an article a few years ago that said, if you’re not used to it, running a few kilometres and then walking for a bit (and so on) can be just as beneficial as running all of it. So that’s going to be our philosophy.”

“I’ve never run in a race as big as this but I think the atmosphere on the day will help us keep going,” says Katrina. “There’ll be so much going on - bands playing and a big crowd all the way round.”

“I enjoy taking part in races like this,” says Christina, “maybe not so much at the beginning but coming up to the end and crossing the finishing line is great! I think that running in general is good for mental health - there’s nothing like it really.”

Christina and Katrina are aiming to raise £500 for the neuro ward. You can sponsor them via JustGiving - all donations very gratefully received!