When I pulled up at the SkateMania marathon on Sunday, the sky was completely grey, puddles were already forming and the drizzle that I’d left behind in Wakefield had turned into a full-on shower.
And 27 miles, three hours and 26 minutes later, it was still raining.
But the thought that so many people had generously sponsored my roller marathon for The Reporter Series Fund kept me going mile after mile.
I signed up for the marathon a few months ago, when I was just back on skates after a brain lesion caused me serious mobility problems.
After skating with Wakey Wheeled Cats Roller Derby League for four years, suddenly being unable to do something I loved was a big blow, but I was determined to get back on skating.
For me, signing up for the marathon was more of a personal challenge - a marker to get fit for and to re-learn how to skate - but when the sponsorship started rolling in, and targets kept getting smashed, I was determined that I would complete the marathon for everyone who sponsored me.
At the last count, I’ve raised just over £600 for the fund, a figure I never thought would be possible. I owe a big thank you to every person who donated, especially Amazing Skates skate shop, who not only made a generous donation, but provided me with new wheels which were invaluable in the slippy conditions.
I have to admit that on mile 10 (and just about every mile after), I did consider packing it all in and huddling under a blanket, but knowing so much money was riding on me finishing kept me going.
My skates are still full of water, and the cuts around my ankles still stinging, but the pride that came from crossing the finish line after 27 miles will stay with me long after the pain in my thighs has gone!
To donate to the Reporter Series Fund, click here.