Lisa McGlaughlin, a teacher at Haryln Primary School, Northwood Hills, will be taking on not one, not two, but 17 challenges including running, swimming and cycling events, in memory of her father-in-law, who was cared for at Michael Sobell Hospice last year.
“At just 62, my father-in-law Ian McGlaughlin, friend and grandfather to my daughter Mae, died from leukaemia, at Michael Sobell Hospice after receiving such incredibly kind and supportive care. In addition to this, 30 years ago, my Nan (Ilse Fraser), was also cared for at Michael Sobell in her final days, so I felt very strongly about doing something to raise money and awareness of the wonderful work of the Hospice.”
Admitting that she hasn’t always been as fit as a fiddle (after pregnancy and having a major back operation when her daughter Mae was three months old), Lisa began swimming and walking to lose weight and get fitter, after joking with a friend about taking on a triathlon: “I trained for three months solid and on the 8th September last year – a week to the day after we lost Ian, I completed by first triathlon. It was one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done. I was incredibly proud of myself, as were my family and friends,” explained Lisa.
She added: “After Ian passed away and our first Christmas without him loomed, I knew that I wanted to do something in his memory and for my Nan too. Then it hit me. 2017 – 17 – challenges! I figured I could do runs, swims, rides and a mixture of all three! So, on New Year’s Eve, I set up my Facebook and JustGiving pages and that was it! It then dawned on me that 17 means taking on one challenge every three weeks, which is turning out to be incredibly intense!”
Lisa added: “My first event was a very hilly 10k from Northwood Hills to Croxley Green. My second was a 10k mud run, which was truly brutal. I’ve now completed 10 challenges including: another 10k run, two duathlons, two triathlons, two aquathlons, and a sea swim from Bournemouth to Boscombe pier. I have another seven events and I’m planning to complete more aquathlons, a triathlon or two, a few swims (one being the equivalent of swimming the channel over 12 weeks), a couple more 10k runs, and time permitting, I may push myself to do a half marathon at the very end of the year! It’s a lot of planning, training and preparation, but I’m getting fitter! I could not do it without the help and support of my family and friends. There is nothing like seeing a friendly face amongst the crowd, or, especially, hearing your little girl cheer you on. So far I’ve raised a good amount of money for Michael Sobell Hospice, but I hoping to raise a lot more. The Hospice is a wonderful place, the staff work so hard and I am so thankful to them. But most importantly, I want to make sure that Ian and Nan are proud of me.”