Lorraine and Linda running our first marathon for Motor Neurone Disease

Wonderful day. I did not know I could keep going so long but with the best friend in the world and the support of my family cheering, I made it nearly running the whole way!

My seven children and husband came to cheer even though the men had been in Birmingham earlier that day on my eldest son's stag weekend.

At mile 17 I became really grumpy, not even wanting to get a medal but my friend coaxed me on and I was delighted when we crossed the line even if it was a little slower than we had hoped at 5:32. We have joked since then that we should have entered the Guinness Book of Records for the friends who argued non-stop during the marathon (about speed mainly or not wanting a medal) but came across the line together smiling.

Linda is the best training partner I could have and we have encouraged each other for the last six years. We met when our children were at school together and at first could not even run a mile. Over the years we have joined running groups and made many friends and when my mother died early in 2010 we decided to run the Marathon together. We joined Reading Road Runners and recently cycled to a hot yoga class twice a week for extra flexibility! I think it all contributed to making the day brilliant if gruelling nonetheless. We have raised over a thousand pounds for motor neurone disease and I hope this can help to stop suffering like my mother had to endure. We will not stop running and I hope our friendship will carry on through many more marathons and half-marathons. However our next challenge is the Edinburgh Moonwalk in June. We have completed it in London 5 times so we thought we would travel a little further this year. Maybe we will travel abroad for some marathons but at the moment I am still struggling to walk on stairs so I shall leave it a while!

Many thanks to your magazine for all your helpful tips.

Lorraine Bailey (5574)