The event went really well yesterday day and we had 19 people to do with the MEA celebrating at Henry's Café afterwards – seven of whom ran for us.
My daughter, Lara, and I had a great day out meeting and thanking many of the wonderful people who ran the BUPA 10K on behalf of the ME Association and their friends and loved ones. Although we didn't make it down to the start or finish line – it would have been too far for Lara to walk and she refused to go in the wheelchair! – we did meet and thank in person nine of our 14 runners after the race.
Standing in our purple MEA t-shirts in Green Park at the Meet and Greet area, by the letter “M” of course, we waited for our runners to find us. I blew up a couple of purple balloons and held them above my head to help people spot us, much to Lara's embarrassment! They came through in dribs and drabs, some with friends, family members, and others with people they had contacted while preparing for the race. Very soon we were surrounded by people in every colour vest or t-shirt from all sorts of charities. We decided that next year it would be a good idea to have a portable, foldable extra tall flag to signpost our charity, just as many of the other charities had.
When most of our expected party had arrived, now behind schedule, we made our way up to Piccadilly to Henry's Café opposite Green Park tube where we had booked some tables. Most people stayed for a good couple of hours, talking and enjoying well-deserved refreshments. It was very interesting and moving to talk to some of our supporters and hear their stories. A couple had travelled as far away as Nottingham to run for us.
Lara was especially happy to be there – on a rare day out – to thank in person her dear friend, Carrie, whom she met and shared a house with at university.
As well as the awareness-raising, these wonderful people have managed to raise well over £5,000 so far.
Thank you too of course to those we did not meet, who had other arrangements after the race.”
The names of those in the big photo (sorry it's a bit blurry; it's the best one) are, front row from left to right: Sally (sitting, in wheelchair; non-runner), Abbie, Clare B, me (Nicki), James, Christina. Back row l to r: Max, Carrie, Rhiannon. (We also met and thanked the runners Josh and Richard, but for different reasons they weren't there when the photo was taken.)
Helen Hyland, our fundraising manager, adds:
Our very best wishes for a speedy recovery go to Luke Thomas who unfortunately had to pull out because of injury.