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Ten years with MS and running 500km

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Debbie and Joe Worthington

Debbie Worthington tells us how taking on a challenge to run 500km this year with her husband in aid of the MS Trust has helped her come to terms with her own MS diagnosis.

This year my husband Joe and I have set ourselves the challenge to run 500k in timed runs and raise £10,000 for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust. Looking back, I’m not sure how it’s all come about, but I think I’ll blame the ladies in the MS Trust tent at the Great North Run last year!

So why running, the MS Trust and a £10,000 target? This year it’ll be ten years since I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Although I know I’ve been really lucky, I also know that it’s only in the last 6 months since deciding to take on the challenge that I’ve really come to terms with that diagnosis and felt confident enough to “go public”.

I started following a diet that minimises the amount of saturated fat I eat a couple of years ago and saw the benefits almost immediately. Having more energy was one, so I thought I’d try out Joe’s hobby after getting a bit fed up of being a spectator! I went for my first (very slow and very short) run a year ago and ran my first 10km after four months of training.

I’ve really been bitten by the running bug and ten years on from my diagnosis I decided that it was time for us to set ourselves a challenge and say thank you for the support I’ve received. The MS Trust is a great charity that makes a difference to so many people’s lives. I credit the unbiased information provided by the MS Trust, and the training for the specialist nurses that keep an eye on me, as the reason I can take on this challenge!

Now I’m getting ready to run over 150k in organised events, working up to my first half marathon – The Great North Run in September. Joe has been running a lot longer than me and so it is only fair that he runs further! He will be running over 350k, including three marathons and the Yorkshire 3 Peaks.

We’ve already got 35k under our belts from our regular Saturday morning parkruns. In March we’ll be running the Lincoln 10k and will be doing races in England, Scotland and Wales over the coming months. The highlight of the year will be in July when 20 of our friends and family join us to simultaneously run the Leeds 10k and British 10k in London on my birthday!

We’d love you to follow our journey on Facebook or on our Worthington 500k Challenge website. You can also sponsor us on our fundraising page.

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