Heroic support: Running a marathon for charity Q&A

TawniaAt the start of April we were contacted by young lady called Tawnia Norman who had decided she wanted to run a marathon in support of a local charity and had picked Groundwork! We were delighted that she had chosen us. Tawnia took part in the Edinburgh Marathon but unfortunately, due to injury, was not able to finish. Read on for more about her experience:

  1. Why did you decide to run the Edinburgh marathon? I had ran some 10k race and half marathons and got quite good times. The next step was a marathon. A girl I run with regularly also wanted to do a marathon so we decided to do a marathon together. We chose Edinburgh as it is supposed to be ‘fast and flat’ as well as ideal for a first marathon.
  2. Why did you decide to raise money on behalf of Groundwork for the Fullwood Community Garden? I have carried out voluntary conservation work for the last 6 years to try and gain experience and secure a job in the sector. I live in Oldham and wanted to do something positive to promote conservation and the environment as I think it is a big part of the future.
  3. What training did you do in the run up to the marathon and how did it go? I started training early to make sure I could get plenty of long runs in. I ran around 3 times per week and swam to cross train. I built up to doing runs between 16 and 20 mile and did my biggest run at 23 miles. Training went well and my body eventually got used to running such long distances. Recovery from long distances became easier as time went on. Unfortunately 4 weeks before the race I got a hamstring injury and despite physio, couldn’t run for the last 4 weeks before the marathon.
  4. What was the marathon like and how did you get on? Marathon day was very warm, a worry after training throughout the winter months. The atmosphere was good and helped get rid of the race day nerves. Things were going well up to mile 9 when my leg started to niggle, I managed on and just before mile 17, heard a big crack in my knee. Until that moment I was making great time for my target time. Unfortunately at this point I could no longer walk and had to pull out of the race, something I was devastated about after my training. Unable to stand unaided and following a trip to A&E, I spent the next 4 week on crutches. However on the bright side, four weeks on I can now walk without crutches and hope to get back to being able to start running again next month.
  5. Would you recommend the Edinburgh Marathon? I would recommend a marathon if you have the time to put the training in and enjoy running. It’s a great way to test the body and mind. People enter marathons for different reasons so it’s good to find one that suits you, as they’re all different.
  6. What would you do differently next time? I would train in a similar way but maybe think twice if I got an injury a month before. I plan on improving my running and general alignment to make me less prone to injury for the next attempt.
  7. Who inspired you along the way – before, during and after the marathon? My boyfriend is a runner and has done marathons before, he inspired me and helped give me the confidence to believe I could do it. My running buddies who helped me train up ready for the big day, especially Kirsty who ran it with me and went on to complete it in a fantastic time. My family have always encouraged me to go after whatever I set my mind to and it’s because of them that I’m so determined in life.
  8. Have you got any advice for other people thinking about running for a charity? It’s a great feeling to raise money for something you are passionate about, even if you are unsure about if you can do it, sign up and the fundraising and support you get from your charity helps spur you on. Just make sure you leave plenty of time to train.

Tawnia wanted the money raised to go to a local project and she decided upon the Fullwood Community Garden. An impressive total of £424.86 was donated which will go towards tools and equipment for the residents to use on the garden.

We are very grateful to anyone who supports Groundwork, through volunteering, donations or fundraising but Tawnia’s commitment and achievement to support our work is an extraordinary contribution.

Tawnia – everyone here at Groundwork and the residents of Fullwood Community Garden will be eternally grateful for your efforts. Many thanks and very best wishes for the future!


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