Race for Life 2009

Well, it’s done, and we had a great time!

Leigh and I completed the Race for Life at Stormont Estate yesterday. It was a very warm day without a cloud in the sky, which was great in one sense but I think we could actually have done with a bit of drizzle by the end! Next year we should bring water pistols!! πŸ˜€

When I got to the site and realised the sheer scale of the event, it was a bit of a surprise. I knew it would be well attended but there was just a sea of pink everywhere you looked. You have to pin a sign on your back saying who you are running for. I have to say, this aspect of it was very moving- the people standing next to me as I waited to meet up with Leigh were running for a little girl with leukemia, and nearly everyone’s shirts mentioned someone close to them. The scale of the effect cancer has on society is really impressed on you and it would be a stony heart indeed not to be moved by seeing those shirts.

Leigh and I met up about an hour before kickoff. An Australian lady was giving a bit of an irksome pep talk over the loudspeaker. I kind of wished they’d gone for someone Northern Irish, she seemed rather out of place, but she seemed to be enjoying herself!!

Next, a Scottish lady who was one of the main organisers came on to the stage and she really was inspirational. She reminded us all of why we were there, but in a fun way.

Just before we set off, we had a warm up in the shape of an aerobics instructor who reinforced my belief that I can never take part in an aerobics class due to my slow wittedness and inability to follow basic instructions. My lack of coordination will probably appear sometime soon on YouTube, courtesy of another participant! πŸ˜›


The route itself went all round the Stormont Estate. Regular readers will know that Leigh and I have struggled a bit with the dreaded Stormont hill- which is bloody steep! You find yourself fixated on the sight of the Carson Statue at the top, because he’s right at the top of the hill! πŸ˜€



I have to say, I think we kicked that hill’s ass yesterday. We veritably strode up it and I was only a little bit puce in the face by the top. In the past we’ve both practically needed a lie down when we got to Lord Carson!

My Dad and regular commenter Bernadette had walked up the hill to try and see us on our way past, but somehow in the crowd we didn’t spot each other, which was a shame. Next year we should plan things better!


I think everyone felt a real sense of achievement at the end. This is such a good cause- to date I have raised almost Β£800 for Cancer Research UK and hope to get close to Β£1000 by the time I am finished. You can still sponsor me online if you have a few pennies to spare.


I feel very privileged to have taken part. I am also very lucky to have been well enough. The past year has been rough, but I am still here, fighting fit and taking no prisoners! Next month marks the anniversary of my diagnosis, and it seems amazing that it’s been so long.

And Leigh, we WILL run it next year!!!! πŸ˜€


12 Responses to “Race for Life 2009”

  1. June 1, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Wow. That third picture in particular, the long wave of pink all the way into the distance – that is amazing.

    I think water pistols for next year would probably be a great idea! πŸ˜€

    Congratulations, Suzy!

  2. June 1, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Well done, Suzy!! I loved the pictures, especially that last one. πŸ˜‰

    I’m very happy that you were able to take part in the event. You are such an amazing woman and I’m terribly privileged to have gotten to know you in this way and I’m so proud of your accomplishment!!

  3. 3 Bernadette
    June 1, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Congratulations on a great achievment Suzy, both doing the Race and on the amount of money you raised. It was really a great event and I felt privileged to have been there. Your photos are stunning – especially the third one – a river of pink going up the hill towards the Parliament Building – and that hill was no joke- and the last one of yourself and Leigh – two deservedly ‘very pleased with themselves’ people. XXX

  4. June 2, 2009 at 7:44 am

    If you take water pistols next year, it’ll rain!!!

  5. 5 Sara
    June 2, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Congrats on a job well done! I knew you could do it! I agree with everyone else that the 3rd picture is amazing! Love the sea of pink! And you do look rather pleased with yourself in the last picture! You deserve to be!

  6. 6 Kim
    June 2, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    In the past two weeks, I’ve found out both Brian’s brother and my uncle have been diagnosed with different types of cancer. I wrote a little about it on the post today, how much I hate this disease and how many people it affects.
    Having only done one 5k and a Relay For Life myself, I feel excited by your experience with this and can’t wait until October when I’ll get to do another one myself!
    You are a true inspiration!

  7. June 3, 2009 at 12:14 am

    WOW! what a wonderful event. I enjoy the pics and reading about it very much, Suzy. πŸ™‚

  8. June 3, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Congrats to you, Suzy!

    I can’t do aerobics to save my life either. I’ve never taken a class, but if I do videos, I have to watch them at least twice before I get the hang of the routines and can follow the instructions.

    BTW, your hair looks great!

  9. June 3, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    What a cool event! I’m so impressed with you all and you look amazing in that last photo, if I’m allowed to say that without getting a slap around the face. πŸ˜‰

    Beautiful weather too. πŸ™‚

  10. 10 Layla2376
    June 4, 2009 at 1:04 am

    Hell yeah Mrs McEl D , we’ll be there next year hoofing up that hill at high speed xx It was such a great day, I felt it a huge privelege to be a part of it. As fun as it was, it was indeed incredibly moving, thats why my specs were on the whole way through, I started crying when we set off !!
    I can’t believe its almost a year since you were diagnosed, every time I see you its getting further and further away, you looked great on Sunday. I am very proud to have not only been a part of it but because I did it with my friend at my side who is a survivor and looks every bit of it .

  11. 11 Aunt Rosalind
    June 4, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Dearest Suzy,
    I am very interested to hear about this as I had been wondering how it went. Congratulations. See you on Saturday.
    Love from Aunt R

  12. July 14, 2009 at 9:39 pm

    Hi Suzy, congrats on the race. Having run the London Marathon recently for a worthy cause, I know how hard it can be to get the money together for these things and the sense of achievement that comes with it when you know its going to a worthy cause.

    Just came across your blog and thought I’d say hi πŸ™‚

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