Running for rescue: Sponsor KMRT’s Alison in the 2010 Wilmslow Half Marathon
As if being part of a mountain rescue team in possibly our busiest year ever wasn’t enough, KMRT’s Alison is taking part in the 2010 Asics Wilmslow Half Marathon on 28 March 2010 to raise money for the team. She’ll be running over 13 miles (13.1 to be exact). You can sponsor Alison via www.justgiving.com/runningforrescue or to find out more about Alison’s story, click the read more link or if you are inspired by Alison’s example to get out there and fundraise yourself, check out our guide to setting up sponsorship.
How long have you been a member of Kinder Mountain Rescue Team?
I joined in October 2005 so four and a half years now
Why did you decide to join?
I moved to the area 6 months before because I wanted to live within the hills and be able to walk and bike from the door. In the past I had completed charity bike rides to Brazil and Cuba and I wanted to do some more consistent volunteering, but in an active role. Joining mountain rescue was a perfect blend to contribute to a charity and a local community at the same time as doing something I loved.
What’s it like being a woman in a mountain rescue team?
I think my situation is doubly different as I have had 2 children since joining the team so as well as the team having a female hill member, they have had to deal with one through all the stages of pregnancy as well! There are occasions when you can’t physically do the same things as a man can – although I was carrying stretchers until I was about five months pregnant in both cases. But mountain rescue is not just about stretcher carrying, there are lots of other skills needed in navigation, communication and casualty care. Everyone in the team can bring different skills along so as a whole unit you have everything covered. There have been times when other team members have offered to help me out where they wouldn’t do the same to a male colleague but I would say in the vast majority of these cases it’s because it’s how they were raised, their manners and etiquette or because they genuinely felt I could have done with the help. It has become more difficult to get to call-outs as time has gone on – with no kids I could dash off as I pleased but now I usually have to plead with people to help me with them as my husband has to work when I am off, so there is rarely a time I can get out of the door straight away! But I have become part of a team with such varied characters and personalities in it, people who I would never have met otherwise and the one thing we have in common is our love of the hills and our commitment to help those in need on the hills when they ask for our assistance.
Why did you decide to raise money for the team?
I have raised money for a variety of charities, all of which are close to my heart and circumstances. The team have recently had to spend a significant amount of money updating the base and this has left them in a more vulnerable position with regards to availability of funds. I can’t get to as many of the team fundraising events as I used to before I had kids so this is a way that I can help the team financially.
How long have you been running?
I started running in June 2009 – my first time was the Race for Life in Tatton Park, a 5k event. This kick started my training for the Great North Run at the end of September which I had just signed up to. I completed the GNR in 2 hours and 15 minutes and have continued to run since. Before then I always walked up hills or biked but never ran!
Have you ever run a half marathon before?
Only once – The Great North Run last September.
What was it like?
Rather daunting but great fun – it’s the biggest half marathon in Europe I think and with 55,000 participants I was right at the back, one of the last few to arrive. The day was unusually warm and I even got sunburn by the end! The atmosphere was amazing with people lined along the route the whole way, shouting your name and giving messages of support and encouragement. I didn’t dare stop so kept plodding on and by the time I got to the last mile along the sea front the Red Arrows were doing their display formations. It was a welcome distraction along the longest mile of my life! When I stopped my legs swayed all over the place and I couldn’t bend my knees for about 3 days afterwards! But I got a great sense of achievement from it.
How has your training been going?
Good, I completed a 12 mile training run at the weekend which I did in 1 hour and 55 minutes; if I can go at that pace on the day I will smash the time I set in the Great North Run! I have had some niggles and have seen a physio who has advised me I have tight hamstrings and tension in my sciatic nerve but I have exercises to do to ease this.
What are your hopes for the Wilmslow Half?
To get round in one piece, uninjured and to enjoy the run! And also to raise as much as I can for the team so I can contribute in a financial (fundraising) way as well as a practical one on the hill during call-outs. I’d be delighted if I could shave some time off the last half marathon and get in under 2hrs 5 mins.
Sponsor Alison via www.justgiving.com/runningforrescue.