Meet Sarah and Samantha, winners of #MotivateAMate
11 January 2022
11 January 2022
When you’re running a marathon, sometimes all you need is a bit of encouragement from a mate to get through those tough training sessions or final miles of the run.
That’s why we launched this year’s #MotivateaMate competition, to celebrate the role that running buddies, friends and family play in making training and running a marathon that much easier.
Our lucky winners have been given VIP entries into the 2022 Yorkshire Marathon, entry into our marathon training day in July, as well as a load of other free goodies from our partners Erdinger Alkoholfrei. In return, they’ll be taking us on their marathon journey over the next few months, sharing the ups and downs as they prepare for this year’s Yorkshire Marathon.
The response to the competition has been amazing. We received so many winner-worthy entries it’s fair to say it hasn’t been easy narrowing it down to just a select few.
However, we are delighted to announce that Sarah and Samantha have been selected as our first pair of winners!
Sarah and Samantha both credit running with helping them to get through difficult times over the past few years, with Sarah being diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in September 2017 and Samantha having struggles with her mental health.
We recently caught up with them to have a chat about how it feels to be winners and their running goals for this year.
How does it feel to win #MotivateaMate - what was your reaction when you found out?
Sarah: When my sister, Samantha, and I found out yesterday we were so shocked and happy. To be honest, because I never win anything like this, I entered it and totally forgot about it so it came as a double shock to me.
Samantha: Sarah entered us as we just started running together in the last year since her cancer returned. She is a true inspiration and keeps me going. If she can do it then we all can!
We’d love to know more about why you both decided to enter?
Sarah: I got the email about the competition and decided to enter myself and Samantha because we've both had a difficult few years. Samantha has struggled with her mental health and I was diagnosed with stage 4 incurable ovarian cancer in September 2017.
Running has saved us both and when one of us is struggling with motivation, we always have the other one to encourage us to keep going. We decided to do the Manchester Marathon together last year, and I actually postponed my chemotherapy to be able to do this. Unfortunately, my sister got an injury and was really disappointed with her time, so I wanted to give her the opportunity to try again.
Are you both seasoned runners or are you just starting out on your running journey?
Sarah: I've been running on and off for the past 18 years but it's only really been in the last two years that I've really fallen in love with it.
Samantha: I have been running for around six years now and it really has been the best thing I have ever taken up. My mental and physical health has never been better and I think I'll continue for a long time to come.
What are your top tips for motivation when you really don’t want to go out?
Sarah: My top tip for motivation is setting yourself a goal and rewarding yourself when you've achieved it. Also, I've found the best thing I've ever done is join a running club because then you gain a running family who never let you give up and are always on hand for support and advice.
Samantha: My top tip for motivation is having a goal to aim for where you need to train, so for example a new marathon!
Have either of you taken part in a marathon before?
Sarah: We have both done marathons before. I did the virtual London Marathon in 2020 and then the Manchester Marathon last year. But, I don't think it matters how many marathons you've done, you still get the same, terrifying feeling when you enter one - not necessarily because of the run itself but the months of training (which is totally worth it when it comes to the big day!)
What are your running goals this year?
Sarah: My goal is to do more trail running as well as road running, and hopefully in the summer complete an ultra-marathon, a 50km trail run with three friends. Would also love to do more running with my big sister.
Four and a half years ago I was given 2-5 years to live and I'm very excited about getting past my predicted five years in September. What better way to do that than to complete a marathon. I want to keep showing people this year that being diagnosed with incurable cancer doesn't mean that you have to stop living.
Samantha: I'm doing my first cross country which I think will be very challenging but also my goal is to get back to my best again, which I've struggled with during the pandemic, and to also enjoy taking part in more events with my amazing sister.
Sarah and Samantha are both planning to raise money for the Stroke Association, a cause close to their heart, as their Mum suffered two strokes.
Keep an eye out on here and our social channels for more updates on Sarah and Samantha’s story over the coming weeks and months.