Update: 11 May 2018:
On Sunday, 22 April 2018 Stacey became the first person to represent 4YP in the London Marathon. And she smashed it!
It was the hottest London Marathon in history, and the first time Stacey had ran so far. What an achievement.
@4_yp I did it!! 26.2 miles in 4 hours 21!! It was literally the hardest thing I have ever done and the most amazing at the same time! Feeling very proud!— Stacey Bunn (@Stacebunn) April 22, 2018
At time of writing, Stacey has raised well over £1,100 to support 4YP's activities for the forthcoming year. We're hoping the total will continue to climb now she's passed the finishing line. See the wonderful messages of support people have sent Stacey at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StaceyBunn
From Training to Champion
We first appealed for interested runners last summer, and Stacey quickly got in touch. We were delighted by her enthusiasm for the challenge, and she really got what 4YP is all about. We knew even then we were lucky to have Stacey on board.
Ever since, Stacey has been dedicated to her training, unphased by the long distances and a bitter winter chill. That's right, even the February snowfall that brought the country to a halt couldn't keep Stacey from donning her trainers and hitting the frozen paths to train.
Earlier in April, Stacey held a quiz with friend and running mate Sophy (who took part in the marathon for Mencap). Together, they raised £350 - originally intended to split it evenly, Sophy kindly donated her share to 4YP as well. Such kindness. The spirit of the marathon started early.
"I have my number 54095 now and I am starting in the red area.... all feeling so real now!"
In her last training session before heading to London, Stacey told us:
"So, I took on my last 3 miles before the day to reflect on the last 6 month I have trained. The main thing that stood out is that I realised that I am stronger than I thought, not fitness wise but in my mind.
"I got through the long miles, I got through the pain of a sore knee and the worry that that was it for my training. I ran through the 4 inches of snow (ok, 2 inches but it was snow). I realised I could get up early to run 5 miles. Yes, there were times I thought 'what have I signed up to?' but today on my last 3 miles, I thought 'what an experience to go through', and the real thing hasn't actually happened yet!
"On my run in the 24 degree heat, I thought I would practise a few things: I practised my smile - because I have been told that the smile is the only real thing you need to bring on the day. I also practised lifting my arm up to give people Hi Fives, because they have taken time out to cheer us on. I also had a little cry mid-way; I allowed myself to visualise crossing the finishing line, and being greeted by my lovey husband and my 2 girls and my family who have been my rock throughout these last 6 months. Without them being so understanding and letting me take a lot of time out to train I just couldn't have ever got to this stage."
Why has Stacey chosen to support 4YP?
"Through my work as a Financial Education Assistant I spend a lot of time with young people and am very aware of the difficulties they can face. I think it’s crucial to look after all aspects of their wellbeing at such an important time in their lives, to help set them up for the future.
"Although I have run a couple of half marathons, the London Marathon will be a huge challenge for me, but I know raising money for 4YP and increasing awareness of their amazing work will give me the motivation to keep running when I’m training on cold dark nights through the winter and through those last painful miles on race day!"
Follow Stacey's journey and make any donations via her giving page at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/StaceyBunn