Many runners have an idea of a challenge they want to complete for a good cause, less actually put that challenge to the test. Michelle Crawley, from Glasgow decided to make 2010 the year she would run 100K to raise £500 for Spinal Injuries Scotland, after a former workmate was badly injured in a horse riding accident in April, breaking her back and neck. Michelle will complete her challenge tomorrow at the Achilles Heel Jimmy Irvine Bellahouston 10K.
Michelle's journey started back in May with the Women's 10K in Glasgow, just a month after her colleague, Melanie Reid's horrific incident. Michelle was inspired by the sheer fight and determination shown by Melanie in the aftermath of the accident, and she wanted to do something to help. Since then, she has run the four races in the Polaroid Series, (Helensburgh, Clydebank, Dumbarton and Vale of Leven) the Paisley 10K, Great Scottish Run 10K, Cumbernauld 10K and the British Heart Foundation Winter Warmer in Edinburgh just two weeks ago.
Her final race this weekend will see the end of a huge personal challenge for Michelle, who told SCOTTISH RUNNING GUIDE, "This challenge hasn't ever been about the times, really. It's been about clocking each race off my list and getting to the finish line in one piece. And, to be honest, the best thing about it has been the chance to try out some smaller, local 10k races - many of which I'd never run before."
"My favourite race was the Paisley 10K, a great family atmosphere, nice varied route and, best of all, it has a lovely downhill to the finish. The Cumbernauld 10K was another I would never normally take part in, but it was really well organised and I would happily run it again. Also, at least now I'll be prepared for the not-so-gentle hills at Holyrood Park should I ever think about attempting the British Heart Foundation Winter Warmer in Edinburgh again."
The motivation for Michelle came in April, when former colleague and journalist, Melanie Reid broke her back and neck falling from a horse. Michelle describes Melanie's journey back to health as "'optimistic, courageous and darn right humbling", as it is currently being diarised through Melanie's column in The Times newspaper. Melanie's first entry after her accident can be read here. A truly inspiring story.
Melanie had run 10K races prior to her accident and this is what first put the idea into Michelle's head. "I suppose in some ways it's made me appreciate the fact that I can just get up and go running if I feel so inclined. And actually it doesn't matter who beats me or how fast I go." said Michelle. "That's why I decided to undertake this personal challenge to raise money for the spinal injuries charity which does amazing work at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow where Melanie is being treated."
Anyone who is in Glasgow tomorrow can go down to the race and cheer Michelle on, and donations can be made to her challenge through her justgiving page.