SANDRA TULLETT was so thrilled to achieve her target of completing the Purbrook Ladies 5.
She’s been going through a difficult time with cancer treatment but has been continuing to run as much as she can.
The Purbrook Ladies 5 event was a target for her and she ran with her friend Angela Agate, of Denmead Striders, who supported throughout.
Sandra, who is a member of Portsmouth Joggers, finished with a fantastic time of 43min 48sec with Angela alongside and it really meant a lot.
She said: ‘I entered it a long time ago when I knew I was going to be on chemotherapy as one of a few targets to keep me going through it.
‘I’m on my fifth chemo now and the one before I had a really bad reaction and I ended up in hospital.
‘So before the race I was a bit nervous and Angie agreed to come along to be my running buddy.
‘We planned on walking up the hills but we ran up every hill and got all the way around. It is hard work though.
‘It’s always hard for anyone, I think, no matter what speed you do.
‘Everyone is running their race and doing the best they can.
‘I’m chuffed to bits to have done it, I just keep on plugging away and try not to let it beat me.
‘Now I’ve got one more chemo to go, then I get back to radiotherapy and then back to running again.
‘My consultant said to keep exercising so I have tried to continue to run whenever I can.
‘This was a bit of a tester and I’ve done much better than I expected.
‘I was aiming for 50 minutes and we got around much quicker. So it shows what you can do in a race environment – it does make you work that bit harder and it pushes your heart rate up.
‘I feel so much better after for doing it. It’s a lovely race and there’s no pressure.
‘The course is tough, for five miles there are a lot of hills in there but it is well supported with great marshals.’
With difficult times during treatment the boost that exercising and running can provide is so vital for Sandra.
She added: ‘It makes a big difference to your mental well-being.
‘I normally do ultra races but I have been doing loads of parkruns.
‘After surgery I went and walked all the parkruns. Whenever possible I’ve tried to do a parkrun.
‘Having cancer emotionally affects you quite badly but because I’m running it is helping me cope.
‘Sometimes on really bad days I will force myself out the door, even if I have to walk. If you get out and you feel you have done something. It helps your mental well-being.
‘Chemotherapy is different for different people but it is a long process, it can drag you down and running picks me up.’