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Profile

Stephen Webster

Ran the New York Marathon 2019

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Ten years ago I ran the New York Marathon in memory of Edith, my Mother-in-Law, who died of Pancreatic Cancer only three weeks after it was diagnosed. Late diagnosis meant that the cancer was simply too advanced to treat, and impossible to survive.[/p][p]Since then, I have been saddened to hear of the deaths of family friends, and family of friends, in similarly traumatic circumstances. Ten years on, whilst there has been some increase in awareness of Pancreatic Cancer, early diagnosis continues to be a fundamental problem, and Pancreatic Cancer continues to struggle to attract the level of public attention and research funding needed to fight this insidious disease. Pancreatic cancer has the lowest survival of all common cancers and survival rates have not shown much improvement in the last 40 years in the UK. [/p][p]So, on Sunday 3 November 2019, I ran the New York Marathon for Pancreatic Cancer UK.[/p][p]Running the New York Marathon 10 years ago was a great experience and a very memorable occasion. Being 10 years older, I have to say that I found the training regime quite a lot harder, frankly for poorer results. However, I took some comfort from the philosophical words of Murakami*:-[/p][p][i]“In long-distance running the only opponent you have to beat is yourself, the way you used to be. Since my forties, though, this system of self-assessment has gradually changed. Simply put, I am no longer able to improve my time. I guess it’s inevitable, considering my age”.[/i] [* © Haruki Murakami, ‘What I Talk About When I Talk About Running’, Vintage, 2009].[/p][p]Weather conditions for this year's Marathon were perfect. It was a bright, cool and calm day - just what I had hoped for. Aided by Murakami's reality check, I had set myself a goal of beating 4 hours. I felt this was achievable, but I knew it would be a challenge. [/p][p]Having missed my starting wave (due to toilet queues, if you want to know) I ended up in the next wave, near a 3:55 pace running group. I decided to stick with them for the first few miles, and then to try to get ahead of them for as long as possible, to build in some room for the latter stages. If they overtook me my goal was in danger. [/p][p]With over 53,000 runners, and nearly 2 million spectators lining virtually the whole route, taking part in the world's largest marathon for the second time was simply a terrific experience. The constant (and very noisy) support from the crowds was incredible and I took a great deal of encouragement from that. At times, the impact of the support was emotionally overwhelming - a reminder of why I was doing this, and why I needed to keep going.[/p][p]At the same time, in the parallel world of the runners, I was very aware of the sound of breathing, the mental battles being fought and the sheer effort and determination of my fellow runners, each with their own personal reason for being here. [/p][p]I was lucky enough to see my wife and daughter at miles 17 and 24. I was really grateful for this extra boost of support because, at mile 24, the 3:55 pace runners overtook me. After a moment (or two) of panic, I calculated that, if I could just keep moving, there was no way I should lose 5 minutes to these guys over that last 2.2 miles. Thankfully, spurred on by the knowledge that I was going to finish the race for my charity and could achieve my goal time, I managed to pick up the pace a little bit and keep it together in the last stages in Central Park, finishing with a time of 3:54:16. That is more time than 10 years ago, but it gave me more time to savour this unique New York experience - and I did. [/p][p]It is the people of New York who make this event so special, and the enormous pride they take in hosting their Marathon is palpable. Afterwards, walking the streets of the city wearing (self-consciously) my finishers medal outside my clothing (this is normal here - even later in the day and the next day) the number of times I was congratulated by New Yorkers made me feel proud to have been part of it.[/p][p]I would like to say a very big "thank you" to everyone who has supported me through this test of endurance. It has been a real physical and mental challenge, and your donations and encouragement helped give me the strength to meet it. I hope that the funds I have raised for Pancreatic Cancer UK will help make a difference to those affected by pancreatic cancer, and that I will be able to raise some more before my fundraising page closes.[/p][p]Through Virgin Money Giving, you can still sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to Pancreatic Cancer UK.[/p][p]Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this.[/p][p]I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.[/p]
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Supporters

Nov 18, 2019

Hilary Webster

Well done Step hen!!! You did brilliantly!

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Nov 18, 2019

Anonymous

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Nov 15, 2019

JSB

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Nov 5, 2019

Harley

Hope you were successful

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Nov 3, 2019

Tanya and Katya

Well done Stephen. Katya and I are so proud of you. Mum I know would be very proud and humbled that you ran for her and the many others that have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Enjoy a well deserved rest from the training xx

£100.00 plus £25.00 Gift Aid

Nov 3, 2019

Shirley and Keith

Good luck, Step!

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Oct 31, 2019

Anonymous

Oct 31, 2019

Neil

Good Luck

£25.00 plus £6.25 Gift Aid

Oct 30, 2019

Anonymous

Wishing you all the best for the run - enjoy New York!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid

Oct 30, 2019

Anna

Good Luck and have a great holiday!

£10.00 plus £2.50 Gift Aid