Saturday 20 July 2013

#Raceforlife 2013 - memories and emotions...

Race For Life Heaton Park 2013

Heaton Park is a very special place to me. When my husband and I found out that I was pregnant with our eldest over six years ago now, one of the first things we did was visit this lovely open space that is actually one of the largest Municipal Park's in Europe. We took a picnic and sat on a grassy hill smiling secretly to each other as we watched children laughing and playing around us, imagining what the tiny little bean inside my tummy would grow up to look like, daydreaming of future picnics there as a family. Just over two years later we chose Heaton Hall in the centre of the park as the place where we would celebrate our wedding surrounded by family and friends.

our wedding in Heaton park in 2009

A Special Day

Our wedding wouldn't have been possible without all the help and support from our loved ones, one of these lovely people was my mum's best friend, she had been a part of my life as long a I remember, our families holidayed together in the lakes and she was part of many fun filled days out in my childhood.

On the build up to my wedding day she took my mum shopping for the obligatory 'mother of the bride' dress, gave me books on flower arranging (yes I was crazy enough to do my own wedding flowers!) and arranged for her husband to chauffeur us for the day in his Mercedes which she decorated with beautiful flowers and ribbons....

 All this while she was battling with breast cancer for the second time.

Less than six months into our marriage she sadly lost her battle with this dreaded disease.

When the lovely Pippa from Red Rose Mummy told me that Scottish Power were looking for local bloggers to take part in Race For Life for Cancer Research UK at none other than Heaton Park, I knew I had to do it. How could I not?

Not Alone

When I told my five year old son what I was planning to do I was quite surprised when he asked if he could do it with me, at first I wasn't sure if he really understood what it was about and just fancied a trip to the park, but I soon realised this wasn't the case when a family member asked him why we were doing it and he replied...

"We're going to walk to raise money to help all the poorly people get better" (Ben, 5)

From the mouths of babes, eh? What more can I say?

Celebrating completing Race For Life 2013 with his medal

So that is what we did. 

We walked 5k in the sweltering heat with 7000 others to raise money for Cancer Research UK whose valuable work helps so many who are affected by Cancer each year. It was hot, it was hard, we were tired, it took us a while, but we did it, and I for one am very proud of us both. So far, including a generous donation from Scottish Power, we have raised a fantastic £257, if you have any spare pennies pretty please...

  donate here and help us help Cancer Research.

On the Day

The day itself was full of emotion and memories, during the Race we walked right passed the Hall, passed the place where we had stood four and a half years ago on my wedding day to have pictures taken surrounded by those that we hold close, I find it so sad that this beautiful old building no longer holds family celebrations and is instead now closed to the public. The bright and fragrant flowers that featured in my wedding photographs are now replaced by overgrown weeds and unkempt grass. I paused for a moment to remember one person in particular from that day. We also passed the hill where my husband and I had sat with our dreams and ambitions and I looked down at my tired and sweaty five year old who was in the middle of telling me a story about a very special hero called Fireman Ben, and I was so incredibly proud.

myself and Ben outside Heaton Hall on my wedding day

My husband, daughter and mum came to support us and as my mum came over to hug me at the finish line I could see her cheeks were wet with tears, It had brought back memories for her too.

Cancer, We're Coming To Get You!

As well as being emotional it was also a really upbeat day. This was about fighting Cancer and about winning! There was music, there was fancy dress and there were smiles.

I met up with some other lovely bloggers at the Scottish Power High 5 challenge tent where there was lots going on for the whole family, from doing the Cancer Slam Dance on video, decorating a special pink High 5 Glove and jumping up for a High five, or posting a personal message on the High Five Memory wall.

Scottish Power have set themseles a target of 50,000 high 5's and if they meet this target they will be donating a fabulous £25,000 to Cancer Research UK. You can join in with the High 5 Challenge and help them reach this amazing goal!

Find out more over on the High 5 Challenge Facebook Page.

I was sent a high five glove and t shirt to bling up before the race, with a little help from the children's craft box this was what we created....

So that was my Race For Life Heaton Park journey, have you taken part in Race for Life?

I would love to read your comments about your experience of it...

I'd like to finish this post by asking you to take a moment, wherever you are and join me in shouting...

Cancer, We're Coming To Get You!

You can also read about  the Barnardo's Big Toddle that we took part in also in Heaton Park.
Scottish Power kindly covered the cost of my entry and donated to my sponsorship.

Post Comment Love


  1. a lovely post, it must have been so emotional for you

  2. Welk done hunny and a beautiful post

  3. Well done hon, and well done to Ben for showing just how smart kids can be... x

  4. Oh this brought a tear to my eyes well done you, let's all join you indeed CANCER YOU HAD BEST WATCH OUT!!!

  5. A lovely post, and a huge well done to you and your boy for helping to kick cancers butt!!! xxx

  6. Well done to you and Ben, and how lovely to do it in a place that is so special to you. Beautiful post.

  7. what an emotional post for so many reasons.

    I did think that it was such a waste when I walked past the Hall. There were two women walking just behind me, reminiscing about how the Hall used to be so vibrant and she used to jog round on a half hour route to keep fit before her children came along. She was about 60 years old.

  8. Well done. I did it in May, it was an amazing experience x

  9. Lovely post with such a mixture of emotions, well done for doing it and I am so impressed with your son for getting involved, you must be so proud !

  10. What a wonderful, uplifting post; has really made my day reading this today. Popping over from #PoCoLo

  11. A truly beautiful post. I am so sorry you lost you Mum - mine was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time a year and a half ago and I am lucky to still have her here. I hope you don't mind but I have already donated to them this year. Well done on your achievement and thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  12. I finally got around to reading this post and I'm glad I did. I didn't realise the Hall had closed now, that's so sad. I felt very emotional during our race for life too, the messages I read on everyone's backs show how important it is for people to stand up to cancer.


I love to read your comments, thank you for sharing your thoughts.