Friday 26 April 2013

Sophie's Marathon story, are you inspired to run the VLM in 2014?

Sophie Ormsby spoke about the emotion of running the London Marathon for her sister Emma, who has cystic fibrosis and raised over £7,000!
Sophie with sister Emma

At 10:20am yesterday I set out on my massive challenge of running the London Marathon.  I set off to run London with Boston in my heart, nerves in my tummy and excitement in my head.  I also set off knowing that I had raised a shade under £6000 with the help of really generous donations from family and friends.  If anything was going to get me round then that was! 

It dawned a beautiful, if not slightly too warm for comfort, day - a perfect day for a marathon - the telly coverage said.   Any nerves I had shattered as I was surrounded by literally thousands of people all in the same boat as me.  

I had had two pieces of advice from those who had run it before.  The first was not to go out too fast as I would regret it for the second half of the race, so I was very disciplined and stuck to my times, at this point hoping to go for 4 ½ hours which I had been training towards. The support was amazing, even so early on and it only got better!  Still looking ok for my time I saw my incredible support team (aka Team S.O.) at mile 9 - Mummy, David, George, George's mother and sister and 6 friends! It was just the boost I needed to spur me on.

I had another massive boost seeing Team S.O at mile 15 and then my sister Emma up on Andy's shoulders fresh from a wedding in Edinburgh at miles 16 and 17. Stemming the tears with strict instructions from Emma to enjoy it, on I plodded, and it was a real plod now.  My calf hurt with every step and I just thought £6000, £6000, £6000, think of Emma, think of Emma, think of Emma and on I went.

After mile 20 it got hard. 
On I went, random people shouting my name left right and centre and the only acknowledgement I felt able to give a small lift of my thumb, they knew I meant thank you.  Embankment station and the CF Trust team came and went and then I turned the corner by Big Ben and there were Emma and Andy again shouting me on with all their lungs - the tears then came and I knew I could go that last kilometre to the finish.

Coming up to the finish was just amazing.  This was when I took the second piece of advice - don't look down on the last 2 miles; look up, take it in, enjoy it.  The look on my face said it all, sheer relief, agony and joy all at once if that's possible! 

Those last 200 metres are a blur but amidst masses of cheering, I did it...I had run the London Marathon.  And I had run the whole way.  4 hours 47 minutes of mostly agony, 17 mins longer than I had hoped but still the most amazing feeling I have ever felt. Not even 3 months in the Arctic could top that feeling when I saw Emma and hugged her and knew that I had just done something purely for her.  It really was the best moment ever.

The calf will get better.  I will be able to walk without a hobble in a few days and I could take the day off work the day after to recover!  People with CF never get a day off.  Emma, my darling one-in-a-million amazing sister never has a day off. So, if my £7,900 can help bring about a cure through gene therapy, even in the tiniest way, it will have been more than worth the agony. It means the world to me that I can use my healthy body that I am so lucky to have, to help Emma and so many others with CF.

Sophie xx

If you would like to take part in the 2014 Virgin London Marathon with Team CF, please apply for a ballot place. Entries open on Monday 29 April so set your reminder now to visit


  1. Sophie your story is an insperation and amazing, well done, your family must be so proud of you and especially your amazing sister emma :) I too have a sister and brother with cf and I rand the great north run lat year, my next aim is the london marathon 2014, im praying to get in, both me and my husband so we can hopefully raise a lot of money for cf, well done once again sophie xx

  2. Soph, I heard about this blog via my parents who were inspired. You have just made me cry too. What an amazing blog and what an truly wonderful sister you are. Emma will thank you forever and I know will be so proud. love Heidi x x