FOR GABRIEL

Runner's World (UK) - - LONDON CALLING - @rachaelsen­neck justgiv­ing.com/fundraising/ Rachaelsen­neckand Jen­ny­bowcher

RACHAEL SENNECK ‘ In March 2013, we lost our beau­ti­ful baby boy, Gabriel. He was just 20 weeks old. The grief took me to the dark­est and low­est of places, and I suf­fered with anx­i­ety and trau­matic flash­backs. I was ad­vised that ex­er­cise might help, but I didn’t have the con­fi­dence to do it in pub­lic, so I worked out at home. Last May, my friend Jenny en­cour­aged me to go for a run with her. We did four miles and it felt great – like I’d re­ally achieved some­thing – so with Jenny’s sup­port and en­cour­age­ment, I be­gan to run a bit fur­ther.

I had wanted to do some­thing in Gabriel’s mem­ory for a long time, so we de­cided to run the marathon for SANDS (the still­birth and neona­tal death char­ity) as a thank you for all the sup­port they have given me and my fam­ily over the last four years, and to raise aware­ness of baby loss. I’ve set my­self the tar­get of run­ning the 26.2 miles with­out stop­ping or walk­ing. The train­ing is tough and chal­leng­ing to fit around fam­ily life, but noth­ing is as tough as los­ing Gabriel. I’ve cried on many runs think­ing about how much I miss him and wish­ing I could hold him just one more time, but run­ning also gives me the time to be with him. I of­ten call in to St Peter's Church in Por­tishead, where he is buried, on my runs to say hello. It al­ways makes me run that bit fur­ther or faster. On the day I’ll be wear­ing my SANDS T-shirt with pride, with Gabriel’s name on the back. I hope he is proud of his mummy.’

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