It was my friend Hati’s idea to run the Barcelona half marathon and she asked me if I’d do it with her, so we did!  I used to run a bit when I was younger, nothing crazy though.  I ran cross country when I was a teenager in school and swam competitively, as did Hati, but neither of us had run properly for a long time. I had never run as far as a half marathon before but I just thought “why not, let’s have a challenge and see what happens.”

I like the feeling you get after doing a good long run, that you’ve achieved something even if it was hard. I also love the feeling I get when I’m running; it’s hard to explain but it just feels really good. 

We chose to run for Aspire because my mum used to work for them when she was younger and it’s a cause super close to my family’s heart.  My mum was in an accident when she was 20 and has been paralysed ever since so Hati and I were running for her as well as for the many disabled people out there who Aspire helps.  My mum was a fundraiser for Aspire, helping them with events to raise funds for wheelchairs and equipment for people. She also gave talks at local schools to raise awareness about spinal cord injuries.  It’s super important what the charity does for disabled people and deserves way more recognition.

Our fundraising went really well and we were delighted to raise £1,100. We asked people to donate on social media, mainly Instagram and Facebook. I know a lot of our families messaged their friends about it to let them know what we were doing which was super sweet.  Even from the start we were both really surprised with how many people donated. It became a crazy thing, getting a notification that someone had donated, then messaging each other and posting about it and that definitely added to the excitement, especially as it got closer to the race. 

Hati and Emily at the end of the race

We loved the day of the Barcelona half! The atmosphere was amazing and all the runners and the locals were super supportive when we were running. My favourite part of the day was at the start, feeling that anticipation of waiting to begin.  Hati and I were really excited but also quite nervous but once we started running it was all fine!  It was great seeing all the performers singing and dancing as we were running as well as seeing the beautiful sights of Barcelona.

It was a really special experience and meant a lot to both of us, because not only was it the farthest we’d ever run but people were counting on us to do it and do them proud, including Aspire. 

I would recommend anyone to do a half marathon, especially the Barcelona one!  Even if you think you can’t do it, you’d be surprised what you can do when you set your mind to it. We’ve already discussed doing it again next year...

Sponsor Emily and Hati

Read about Emily's mum

Running events

How we help