Courage, Determination, Commitment are just a number of the words that came to mind as I watched Nuala cross the finish line of the Dublin Marathon yesterday.
I arrived at the finish line of the Dublin Marathon yesterday and with the help of the tracking system which the Dublin Marathon have in place (an invaluable tool), I had a fair idea of where she was on the course. My daughter Nikki, John O’Neill and I decided to walk out and meet her on her last leg of the journey. Every corner I turned hoping to see Nuala heading towards us, reminded me of doing the marathon myself 3 years ago and how it felt coming up to the final few miles, hoping to see the finish line at every turn. To my delight, as we came into Ballsbridge there was Nuala coming towards us.
It takes a huge amount of training to do a marathon, you have to make a lot of sacrifices but most importantly it takes a huge amount of mental strength and focus. I’ve always known that Nuala had that within her, and yesterday it really shone through. Nuala shared with me, that at one stage around the 10 mile mark she thought she might have to stop as she wasn’t feeling well. Nuala has Type 1 Diabetes and she has to be very conscious and manage her symptoms on a day to day basis, so this marathon was more of a challenge to her than the average participator. A 26 mile walk on your own can a be very lonely time even in the thick of a crowd, so it didn’t surprise me when Nuala told me she struck up friendships along the way, encouraging others to keep a bright outlook and finding the same support and encouragement from the her newfound friends to keep going herself.
A number of us trekked the last few miles by Nuala’s side, her friend Will, her partner Stephen’s daughter Rachel, along with myself, Nikki, John and let’s not forget her new friends on this long journey. To all you romantics out there, it was around this time that Nuala’s tower of strength Stephen turned up. As usual, he had never been too far away having quietly followed her entire route and met her at various points along the way with words of encouragement and supplies!
As we came towards the finish, Nuala took off in a last 100 metres sprint, (yes, sprint!! Fair dues to you Nuala!!) to cross the line and throw her two water bottles in the air triumphantly.
I know I’m not alone when I say this Nuala, we at Move4Parkinson’s are very proud of you achieving your goal, admire your tenacity, your inner strength and want to thank you for embracing and supporting our Parkinson’s Community. So on behalf of everyone, a heartfelt well done!!