MY RUNNING JOURNEY BEGINS.
From.my hospital bed I decided the best way to get motivated was to book a race. I looked on facebook and saw the wickham 10k race in July and thought that sounded nice so booked it . After I eventually got out of hospital in mid march I was unable to walk more than a few minutes but each day I tried further and with in a few weeks I was able to walk around the block. Keeping at it I soon started very small jobs building up some distance and by july was ready for the 10k . It was tough and hilly but the best thing as well as completing it was I saw some runners having fun on route that looked from a local club. I asked them about it and was told it was BAFFINS FITCLUB and it was a running club for normal people just wanting to run for fun and be social.
So I joined up and have never regretted it. I started to enter more races. My fitness and speed improved and in October I again entered the great south run again for the heart foundation . This time I ran with my daughter Jessica and as she is not a runner we had a nice slow run . Then I started to get the taste for race medals so I started entering lots of small local races with Believe and achieve and Rural running events mostly.
In February 2018 I entered my 1st half marathon the coastal and it was tough but made me realise that my biggest challenge would be doing a marathon so I entered the coastal one for December. That year I also did the GSR again. This time alone and was shocked to get 1hr 25mins! Such focus on the course it was incredible. It was then marathon training. I choose to do good with my efforts so with help of a friend decided to run for CYSTIC FIBROSIS KIDS PORTSMOUTH and was relentlessly fund raising for them. Even having a full page piece in the news regarding my journey and what I was hoping to achieve to help raise more funds.
I managed to raise £1000 and so had extra determination to complete. With the help of my run club and in particular Nikki Tout who ran the whole way with me I managed to get through all the mud and pain to finish this thing I never imagined I would do in my life. I actually cried at the end so emotional I was . The news was there at the end for a follow up story and I made it to the boxing day edition of the news too.
On Christmas day I had a message from the amazing Jeff Clark at RURAL RUNNING to say he was so impressed with my determination and my story that I was to be their runner of the year and would have free entry to all their races that year. Extremely grateful challenge was excepted and so I entered all their races . I had the marathon bug too now so entered another 5 marathons including brighton which unfortunately my plantar fasciitis that I had got training meant I ran the full 26.2 miles in extreme pain but one thing about me is I am not a quitter and nothing will stop me.
I actually managed it in 4hours35 mins despite the agony. After the mont st michel Marathon I did another one a week later the wickham one . I did the relay for life weekend and clicked up 100km and then later the coastal ultra marathon. All in all in 2019 i ran 43 races . 5 x marathon 2 x ultra 1x 20 miler. Most people know me as the guy who dresses up fancy dressm usually a inflatable costume of various things my favourite being TURKEY MAN at the santa challenges.
There are a few reasons for keeping all this up. 1 obvious one is the benifits to my health and not wanting to let bash of open heart surgery beat me . I unfortunately lost my father to the same thing 11 years ago and I wont have it beat me. I also like to think and have heard feedback from many people that by what I have done and achieved I help to inspire them to do the same which is a amazing feeling. The fact what I do also helps me to raise money for charity is a big added bonus.
My story and fundraising also seemed to win the hearts if the Portsmouth people as in 2019 I won the PORTSMOUTH NEWS WE CAN DO IT PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD at an evening at the Kings Theatre being handed my award by the lord mayor. That has to be a highlight of my life.
I'm not done yet . This year because I have a I can do it mentally I went for a swim at the local.pool in January to give my foot a rest and despite not having swum before except slashing in the pool on holidays I thought why not swim the solent. Yep after one swim and my fiancee Nikki already thinks im crazy I entered the Swim for the IAN PRATT MND FOUNDATION so am now noonly training for the 4 marathons I have booked this year but also training to swim the 4 miles across the solent so am in he pool every other day and yesterday got my 1st half marathon swim And so the story continues and I hope to continue to inspire and stay healthy.
This is no only mr but the backing of a great running club founded by the amain ladies Helen Mayhead and Julie Fuller and all the other amazing coaches there and my fiancee Nikki Tout and support.
If anyone would like to help support my swim the link is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/richard-harris73
Any help would be appreciated for me and the charity.
You can follow me on Instagram @tickyricky72
Thanks and all the best to you all
Many thanks to Rich for sharing his story.
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