Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Keep on Running... or Walking?

I was never particularly sporty at school... it was pretty much a case of if you weren't in the netball team then you were considered no good. Once a year we were all walked over to the local park (our North London school didn't have the luxury of fields) and expected to run 400m for Sport's Day. Not the most inspiring start. Wind forward fifteen years and two children later I decided I needed to get fit and so at the age of 29, inspired by watching the London Marathon I took up running. I literally walked 100 yards and ran 100 yards... and it hurt!

But just one year later on 17th April 1988 I ran that marathon. It took me over 5 hours but I did it!

I think this photo of me at the finish with Ben is one of my favourites ever.

And later that evening we celebrated with family and friends... including my brother who also ran the London Marathon that year. ( I make no apologies for wearing what looks like over sized children's pyjamas... it was the 1980s!) Those medals felt like Olympic Golds to us!

From then on, running became a part of my life. I loved that all it took was to put on a pair of trainers and go out the front door... it always gave me a buzz. Ten years and another two children later I ran the London marathon again, this time taking over an hour off my time... despite pouring rain and my arm in plaster.

So you can imagine that when osteo-arthritis in my knees put an end to my running days I found it really difficult. I've tried swimming (too wet) and cycling (too much traffic) but nothing else really came close. However, I have kept on walking as regularly as I can so when I spotted an ad in the local paper for a 10 mile charity walk it seemed like just the challenge I needed... these wonderful Olympics have a lot to answer for! On September 8th I will be walking in the Starlight Walk... 10 miles at 11.30 pm at night.

And as a bonus it is a chance to raise money for the Garden House Hospice in Letchworth. It just so happens the hospice movement is a charity close to my heart at the moment as my Dad is very poorly with cancer. If you want to support me you can find my JustGiving page here:
I started training this week and already I've got two huge blisters so I think I'm going to need all the support I can get!


  1. Go Gina, go Gina! I'm so sorry about your Dad but you can feel that you're doing something positive. I've made a donation (I show as 'anonymous' cos I did it wrong) and I've posted to my facebook page too so I hope you get lots more.

  2. Sad news about your Dad, but congratulations on your past marathon achievements and good luck for your fund raising. Such a worthy cause.
    It must be wonderful to be able to run well. I can just about run for a bus!

  3. Sorry to hear about your Dad,I'll go over now and make a donation. It's a cause close to me too, I know that when I did the London Moon Walk a few years ago it was the thought of the money I was raising that kept me going! And Wow! the London Marathon not once but twice I am in awe!

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  5. Marathon runner? That is the only sport I respect - a contest between you and the distance. Used to watch the Comrades Marathon.

  6. Great effort for the London Marathons - good luck with the walk.

    A good cause - our Uncle Denis passed away in the UK a few years ago and we always feel so far away here in Australia. Sometimes we have to trust that someone will care for our elderly and frail when we are not able to.

    Sorry to hear of your dad's illness.

  7. I'm really, really sorry to hear about your dad's illness Gina.
    Good for you for dealing it with it in a positive way by doing the walk, which should be a doddle for you after all those years of running.
    Great '80's photos, I did love the '80's!
    Vivienne x

  8. Have just donated ( I think ) it came up as anonymous , it went a bit wrong. Good luck, my thoughts are with you and your Dad.Who knew you were two times Marathon runner...

  9. Forgot to say, lovin the outfit..

  10. Gina, you have hidden talents! What an inspiring thing to do. Good luck with the training!

  11. Go Gina, It's great that you are doing something posotive and raising money for a worth while cause.

  12. If you've run marathons a 10 mile walk will be easy peasy - and for a very worthy cause. So sorry to hear about your Dad, I hope he's able to get the care he needs.

    Good luck with the training.


  13. I've such respect for runners and walkers - two flat feet and wobbly ankles should be no bar, but I never could get my legs round it - so well done Gina for past achievements and for putting on those trainers again.

  14. Oh well, at least you won't look out of place on a night-time walk in your jim-jams. Gina Ferrari - Style Icon!!

  15. Good luck with this, Hospices provide such wonderful care and support.

  16. Hi Gina. Sorry to hear about your dad and understand what you are going through after losing both my parents to it.
    I love your running successes!

  17. Wow a marathon runner, I had no idea! Best of luck for your walk. I am so sorry to hear about your Dad a difficult time for you all but this walk makes a positive action for you.

  18. Loved the photos of your marathons! I think walking is much more fun than running! Thinking of you.


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