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.’