Lucy's story: How I ‘won’ my 1st Half Marathon

People run for so many reasons- weight loss, cardio fitness, mental health or just for fun. I remember the exact day I decided to start my running journey. 

After giving birth to my son in May 2011, I was searching for a way I could give back to the hospital that cared for me so well throughout my pregnancy and birth. I couldn't afford a large monetary donation so I had to think of another way to give back.   Early in 2012 fate bought me across a poster advertising "Running for premature babies". It read, "Join my team! Run the SMH half marathon and raise money for premature babies at the Royal hospital for women foundation". Bingo. I had found my calling. But how the hell could I run 21km when at this point I couldn't even run 2km without feeling like I was going to collapse? It sounded like a daunting idea when I signed up but with the support of my newfound team I was going to make it to that finish line, running, walking or crawling!

The weeks and the months passed and I trained regularly with my new team who had welcomed me with open arms. I felt fitter and happier and lost 8kg which was an added bonus! My fundraising was going well and I had family and friends sponsoring me for the run. 
3 weeks leading up the the race I was struck down with the flu. I couldn't train and I was starting to get nervous about race day and how I would run. The day came and I decided that I would participate and just try to go as far as I could go. If I made it 5km I would be happy. Plus, so many people had sponsored me I felt like I needed to give it a crack. 

I started off well. It was the purple team training shirts running beside me, with the words ‘in memory of Henry, Jasper & Evan’ that were keeping me going. My first challenge came at the 8km mark where I thought maybe I'd start walking. Right at the moment I had this thought there was a small tap on my shoulder and a RFPB team mate simply said, "keep going mate". That was all I needed. I kept running. 

The next point I decided to give up was at the 16km mark. My legs, hips and back were aching. I felt like I had really done enough. I had given it my best and I was ready to pull out. I walked across to the sideline and, out of nowhere came a RFPB supporter, wearing a purple shirt and he says to me, "What are you doing? The course is that way (pointing in the opposite direction). You've come this far, keep going for the babies!". As a mother myself, this statement bought me to tears. I thought for a moment of Henry, Jasper & Evan and all the tiny babies fighting to breathe and I had all the inspiration I needed to keep going. Again at the 19km mark I had used all my reserve energy and moved across to the sideline to stop. Again I had thought of giving up and right at that moment a RFPB team mate ran up behind me and offered to run with me. I started to wonder if this was just coincidence: Three times I had tried to give up on the race and I was pulled back up by a teammate. I felt like Henry, Jasper & Evan were using all their power to keep me going right to the finishing line. 

And their power helped me win. I finished the whole 21km spectacular course! I was a champion in my own race. I consider my half marathon run the 2nd greatest challenge of my life (first was giving birth to my son). I vowed to never compete in it again. However, this year I am running again. This year my run will be dedicated in Memory of Isaac Bourne, son of my friends Kate and Grant. Isaac was born at the RHW on 27 October 2012 at 24 weeks. His short life will be the inspiration for my run and this year I am hoping to raise even more funds for the RHW foundation. The funds are used to buy much needed equipment to keep premature babies alive. 

This year I hope to feel like a “champion” again. I know for this year giving up is not an option because I’ll have the babies by my side every single step of the way.  

Lucy Murphy