Luisa from the Newcastle Skin Clinic has embarked on her first ever run for St Oswald’s Hospice, a charity close to her heart and her chosen charity of the year. We caught up with her the day after the Vitality Half Marathon in London, she said:

A friend signed me Up, 5 weeks before and because I had already decided I was going to start raising money for St Oswald’s I thought this would be a good place to start. When I checked the training programme it advised starting training 12 weeks before! I was worried but I am not one to back out of anything. I thought I am relatively fit and on my feet all day oh how wrong I was! I don’t really run for fun, but I guess it was something that was challenging for me and the main point was to raise money for charity and people are more sympathetic when it’s something that takes you out of comfort zone and this certainly did.

I was taking every mile as it came, jog walk jog and didn’t think I was doing too badly until mile 9 and my legs seized up and I found it hard to even walk and my friend carried me through. By this point I was high-fiving all the people along the route – there were people with boards with ‘power up” written on them. I literally felt like Super Mario and getting a burst of energy every time I got a high five or sweeties that the crowd were giving out or the music playing along the way DJ’s and steel bands etc the atmosphere definitely spurs you on. By the 12 mile mark I could relax a bit but still couldn’t walk. I was wishing I had done more training at this point but as soon as you hit the crowd you get your energy back and when you can see the finish line I actually sprinted across it with a big smile on my face.

I did just over 3 hours which is better than I expected having not ever run before.

Luisa continued about her support for St Oswald’s:

My aim is to contribute more to charity this year and I chose St Oswald’s, my local hospice who help children and adults with incurable conditions and my company Newcastle Skin Clinic have decided to support them this year by doing various fundraising activities. I have a contribution target of £10k through the run so far (1day after) I have raised nearly £1000 and I know I have a more money coming in.

I actually visited the hospice about 15 years ago as a student nurse. I think it is a good connection as I have nursed myself and hoping to return to the hospice as a volunteer also.

Finally, we asked Luisa what advice she would give anyone who wanted to complete their first race, especially with the Great North Run coming up…

Honestly, I’d have to say:
Train for 12 weeks – not 5!!
Get Epsom salt bath 3 times week and use on the day of the race
Stock up on magnesium spray
Luisa and the Newcastle Skin Clinic have lots of fundraising ideas and activities coming up this year including an afternoon tea, quiz nights, and maybe even Great North Run all to try to hit her £10k sponsorship target.

To find out more about the Newcastle Skin Clinic, visit their website here: www.newcastleskinclinic.co.uk

To see how you can help support St Oswald’s Hospice, visit our get involved page here.