Runner Spotlight: Kathy Saunders

02 Aug, 2021 09:43 By:

I took part in the Draycote 10 mile running event a few days before being admitted to hospital. I struggled with this event not knowing why, I just put it down to being tired. 

In April 2017, I spent a month in hospital after undergoing major and unexpected lung surgery. Fortunately for me, it was not cancer. However the consultant could not explain why I had so much lung damage considering I do not smoke and used to exercise 4/5 times a week. I now have limited capacity in my right lung and this has impacted upon my running. The doctors did humour me by saying I managed 10 miles on one lung!

I was very scared about the prospect of running again, and on top of that the pain from the surgery took months to subside even with physiotherapy to help  After a prolonged recovery, I re-evaluated whether running in events was feasible. I started back at Parkrun as a volunteer and as the tail walker.  

Only once have I really questioned whether I should take part in events. In 2018, it was 14 months after the surgery when I was still coming to terms with the 'new way of life'. I took part in the evening Silverstone 10K.  I struggled physically to get around, it just hurt. Once the crying had subsided, I accepted that I had to work with what I have got.  This quote has been my mantra: "The only impossible journey is the one you never begin." - Anthony Robbins.

I have received an abundance of love, help and support. As part of my healing, I took part in The Race Organiser Draycote Water 10k in 2019 where I 'Jeffed' around the route (used a run/walk method).  Since then, I have reached 250 Parkruns by my birthday weekend in November 2019 and have taken part in over 45 10K events.  I wanted to see if a solo half marathon was a possibility and achieved that goal in December 2020 at the Milton Keynes Winter Half.