by Bonnie Terbush
“You just completed 26.2 miles.” This is one sentence that I never imagined would be associated with yours truly. Throughout my 42 years on this earth, I’ve attended many different gyms, and walked hundreds of miles (not all at once or 26.2 miles wouldn’t have surprised me). Up until recently, Bonnie was never a runner.
In April 2015, Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser on Outlander, sent a tweet wishing all of the runners running the London Marathon good luck. He’s very sweet. Anyway, Bonnie took a screenshot of the tweet and went over to ThePeakPosse Facebook page (ThePeakPosse is an amazing Group of women) and created a post that went something like this, “Who wants to run the London Marathon with me next year?” Bahahaha! I never dreamed that I would receive so many responses of, “I will!”, “I’d love to!”, “Sounds like fun, count me in!” What? Seriously? What did I just do? Fast forward to the beginning of May, 2015. I decided to go to the London Marathon website and see when the sign up for the marathon began. Now, you have to understand that I’m a huge believer in ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ It just so happened that I had a few days left in order to enter the public ballot for 2016. I took this as a sign. I’m going to enter the London Marathon!!!!
There are two ways to enter the London Marathon. You can enter the public ballot and/or you can apply to run with a Charity Team. Easy, right? Ummm….no. You have to wait until October (6 months prior to the marathon) to find out if you’ve been successful through the public ballot. I hate waiting. The Charity Teams let you know sometime in the summer. ThePeakPosse has run three fundraisers for organizations supported by the actors of Outlander: Bloodwise (Sam Heughan), World Child Cancer (Caitriona Balfe) and Action for Children (Graham McTavish). In June, I was messaging with my contact from World Child Cancer and I mentioned that I was hoping to meet her in April because I’m trying to run in the London Marathon. Although it was not the purpose of the conversation, I found my fingers typing, “Out of curiosity, does World Child Cancer have a team running in the marathon?” I did not anticipate her reply. “Yes we do. As a matter of fact, we have one spot left and it’s yours if you want it.” Wait! What just happened? Needless to say, I took the spot. Bonnie became a runner in the space of one sentence. Now, it was time to begin training.
I was afraid to tell my news to the other women that were also trying to get into the marathon. I should’ve known that I was being silly. I received so much support from my friends in ThePeakPosse. I received running advice, nutrition advice, exercise advice, breathing advice (breathing and running is much harder than one thinks), apparel advice, sneaker advice, etc. There were even a couple women who ran the same training schedule with me, albeit from a different state. I can’t tell you what these women bring to my life. I can never thank them enough for their support. There just aren’t enough words.
In the end, four of us got into the marathon through the charities that we’ve raised funds for: me and Jody for World Child Cancer, Barbara for Action for Children and Sue for Bloodwise. Unfortunately, Sue had to defer until 2017 but she was there to cheer us on. Thirteen of us travelled to London and spent several days in one flat. Another member and her family travelled to London to meet us and cheer us on as well.
The marathon was unbelievable! You have your name on the front of your vest (tank top to us Americans) and the crowds of people on the sidelines cheer you by name, hand out water, gummy candy, popsicles and lollipops. The entire marathon, I kept alternating between, “You can do it!” and “What the F@!# were you thinking?” Every few miles, I would encounter my friends and I would get hugs, high fives and even a bit of company for a short time. They were my electrolytes. I won’t bore you with every mile but to say the crowds and my friends pushed me to the end is an understatement. Jody and I encountered each other a few miles before the finish line, in a bit of pain and walking at this time. We encountered friends on the sidelines and they walked with us a bit. When there was a little over a mile left, Jody and I grabbed each other’s sweaty hands and finished the marathon… together. I am a Marathoner!!! I can’t believe it!
While we were in London, we met Tobias Menzies (Frank and BJR in Outlander) and visited the Georgian Glassmakers where they made us a cup of tea and showed us how to blow one of their famous Outlander glasses. Two days after the marathon, eight of us traveled to Scotland. We went to a whisky distillery (Scott, the guide was from clan Fraser!), on a three day Outlander Tour with Outlandish Tours (Steve was the best), met Gillebride (The bard in Outlander), met Adhamh (Outlander’s Gaelic coach) and had a PT session at Everyday Athlete where we met personal trainers John, Patrick, Martin, Terence, Tommy and Sam himself. Upon our return to London, Jody and I were the only ones remaining. We spent several hours in Hyde Park before we had to leave for the airport. The twelve days spent in the UK were unbelievable! I think the best part of the trip was the time spent with friends. We were mostly strangers in the beginning and lifelong friends in the end.
Besides the Marathon and my amazing vacation, there was a point to this story. I thank you for sticking with me. There are many things that I would have changed leading up to the marathon and I’ve learned many things about running and about myself along the way. The most important thing I learned during this journey? IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, YOU CAN DO ANYTHING YOU SET YOUR MIND TO. I should know because I am living proof!
Now….Bring on the London Marathon, 2017! Who’s joining me?
Coming up next week: Meet Cahonas Scotland and see how they are teaming with #ThePeakPosse in a new fundraiser!