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You Can Go A Long Way With The Right People By Your Side

09/05/2017 16:14 | Updated 10 May 2017
Jackie Scully

On 23 April something really rather incredible happened.

Yes, it was our wedding day. Yes, we ran a marathon. Yes, we randomly ended up in a selfie with Chris Evans and James Cracknell. Yes, my groom was kept in a holding pen with a minder for 2.5 hours so that the media could do a romantic (if we ignore the sweat) confetti-fuelled reunion when I eventually crossed the line. And, yes, humbled as I am, we raised more than £28k for Breast Cancer Care and Willow in the process.

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Image: Natasha Hurley

But, ask me what it is that I remember most about that truly amazing day, and I will tell you a story about kindness.

Kindness is an early-morning ceremony on the Cutty Sark (I think the registrar and some runners got up at 5am) that involved road closure teams, guests dressed for sports day and a jelly baby bouquet made for me by an incredible friend so that I could be a bride, but an 'on message' one.

Kindness is a dress made for running by a selfless woman that was light as air and didn't even chafe a bit. She wanted me to feel like a bride (when I was more focused on compression socks and running bras) and I will never forget what she did for me and the effort she put in to every stitch.

Kindness is a father of the bride (complete with hip replacement) who trained just to get me round the course. Having been troubled with injury for 10 months (let's ignore the cancer rearranged body and the hip full of metal) I hobbled to the start line full of fear, but my dad never doubted me. He gave me the strength to move forward and reminded me that when you have a big enough why you can endure any how. I owe him so much. Mention should also be made of my mum, who didn't just let all this happen, but was there cheering us on!

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Image: Natasha Hurley

Kindness is the little girl who shouted 'the bride is coming' just moments into the run, which helped take the pain away and flood my body with love. I will always remember the part she played in getting me round. If only she could know what those words meant to me.

Kindness is runners full of congratulations and smiles. They lifted me up with each squeeze and note of surprise. There was even one lady who said that she had kept running because she had read my blogs and that when she ran past me her knee didn't hurt any more. That fact made me cry. We'll ignore the runner who said he hoped the wind would blow my skirt up on Tower Bridge mind.

Kindness is cheering squads of well wishers and random strangers willing us on with their messages, signs and roadside treats. It was like the whole of London was a street party in our honour and it moved me hugely. I was weeping when I ran up Birdcage Walk towards the finish because I was so overwhelmed by the noise and the tears of those around me. Six hours saying 'thank you' made me smile.

Kindness is a phone crashing with incredible messages of hope and love by friends and those who had just heard about the story. One lady explained that her mum had got out of a wheelchair for the first time in six months because we had helped her find the confidence to take a step. Cue more weeping.

Kindness is a surprise cake made for us, gifts from our charities (also secured free by generous suppliers), free Love Bars from Pret, free beer from McMullen's brewery, free trainers from Brooks and Saucony and free tea from Twinings, which meant we could donate more money to charity.

Kindness is a donation from a stranger pushing you closer to that fundraising target.

Kindness is a groom who said yes to my alternative wedding plans because he understood that a wedding with running, volunteering and fundraising was the only wedding I wanted to plan.

And this is merely a small snapshot of the kindness we experienced that day.

If you want the definition of kindness, you don't have to run 26.2miles, but I absolutely recommend you join the crowds at the London Marathon one year. The headlines are stuffed with bad news and bad people. But, for just one day, crowds united by charity, love and running offer a message of hope to the world - a message I felt proud to spread.

That our wedding will be forever associated with a kindness that I am still finding it hard to process, is the best feeling there is.

The legs may have recovered - just in time for our charity honeymoon trek - but the memories will last a lifetime.

We wanted more than anything to gift our wedding to charity. Thanks to the kindness of strangers and friends, it was gifted back to us in truly epic style.

Thank you for being part of the marathon journey.

If you'd like to donate to give us a boost as we prepare for our trek, you can do so here.

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