CHARLIE’S IN A RACE TO GET UNDER ARCH FOR KICK OFF
HAVING recently completed an epic running challenge of 250 miles in seven days, Charlie Webster wasn’t planning on going all out for today’s London Marathon – but then Sheffield United got to Wembley!
Sky Sports presenter Charlie took on the 250-mile test at the end of January to raise money for Women’s Aid.
She visited 40 football clubs along the way, despite being admitted to A&E twice and told by doctors to stop when her legs swelled.
So, with that in mind, today’s 26.2 mile run around London – her eighth stand-alone marathon – was one to be enjoyed rather than endured for the lifelong Blade.
But with Nigel Clough’s side set to kick-off their FA Cup semi-final against Hull City at 16:07, time is now of the essence.
“I was at the FA Cup quarterfinal against Charlton at Bramall Lane when they actually honoured me on the pitch for the challenge,” Charlie said.
“Then they announced the semifinal was on the Sunday and I was like, ‘NO! That’s the London Marathon, what am I going to do?’
“Then when they announced the kick-off I thought, ‘No problem!’ Now Sunday is a massive day for me.
“I just wanted to enjoy London, soak up the amazing atmosphere and help other people. I’ve learnt a lot and made a few mistakes in endurance running, so if I can help motivate people running round while enjoying London then great. But now I’ve got to make sure I come in around four hours so I can get to Wembley in time!”
The 31-year-old is hoping for some better memories under the arch.
“It’s unexpected but I think we can beat Hull if we turn up and play like we did against Charlton,” she said.“If we play like we did against Wolves recently and let them intimidate us then we won’t.
“But I’m so confident I’m almost going, ‘I don’t know whether I’d prefer Arsenal or Wigan,’ as if we’ve already got through!
“Every time I’ve been to Wembley we’ve lost in the play-offs and it has ended in tears. I’m hoping we won’t get the Wembley jitters this time.”
Charlie has raised almost £60,000 for Women’s Aid as part of her aim of changing attitudes towards domestic abuse.
Recently she waived her right to anonymity to reveal she was sexually abused as a teenager by her running coach, who was later jailed for ten years.
“I wanted the clubs to understand what I was doing and the fact the issue of abuse in any form, whether it’s a woman or a man or a child, is something men can talk about too,” she said.
“I wanted men and young boys understanding what it is because that’s the only way it’s going to be talked about rather than taking a feminist approach and getting only women to talk about it all the time.
“It’s not a women’s issue or a man’s issue. It’s a social issue but we hide it.The money is going to go to a great cause but the awareness is the main thing because that is going to change attitudes.”
WEMBLEY WAY: Chris Porter celebrates scoring Sheffield United’s second goal against Forest in the quarter-final
SKY’S THE LIMIT: Charlie Webster gets ready for London Marathon