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Saturday September 21 2019

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In Full . . .

Sarah’s race of two halves

Posted on October 21 2013 at 2:16:22

Sarah, Martin and Cherry

Do two halves make a marathon? For Alvechurch resident Sarah Courbet, they certainly do – she has just completed the New Forest and Birmingham Half Marathons to raise funds for The Stroke Association, a charity close to her heart.

Having dabbled with running for a number of years and taken part in a couple of 5k Race for Life runs, Sarah joined Alvechurch Road Runners when it was formed just over a year ago.

“I haven’t looked back since, but I never thought I would be capable of a long distance race,” she says.

Her progress has included three 10k runs for the same charity over the past year, despite her first 10k being quite a traumatic introduction to distance running.

“A runner collapsed and I ended up giving first aid for over an hour before the ambulance found us. It was incredibly upsetting as we thought this lady had suffered a stroke.

“Once she was in professional hands I had to finish the race – when I got to the finish line the organisers were packed up and ready go home but I still managed a sprint finish.”  

It was Sarah’s brother Martin who encouraged her to run still further – after he ran the London Marathon earlier this year, he suggested that she join him in the 2014 event.

“Fortunately for me, he revised the plan and we decided that he would do another marathon and I’d do a half – which then became two!”

The siblings wanted to raise money for The Stroke Association because their father, Moss Coubert, died of a massive stroke aged just 59, while a number of Sarah’s friends have also suffered the devastating effects of a stroke.

Sarah credits her friends with helping her believe she could achieve a half marathon, and it was her old school friend Cherry Ollerenshaw who coached her.

“The summer was very kind in terms of the weather and we only had one rainy training run. I have had some problems with my back and neck, but thanks to my friend Ben at Kings Norton National Health Centre and the encouragement from Cherry, I managed to get through the pain.”

The first half marathon was in the New Forest in September, which was a relatively small race with 2,500 runners. “The first 9.5 miles were relatively easy, but the course involved a ‘killer’ hill, which was horrendous.

“The thought of raising £1,000 for my charity was the one thing that kept me running, and I finished in two hours 37 minutes.”

Martin was running the full distance and was delighted to finish in less than four hours.  

Just one month later, Sarah competed in the Birmingham Half marathon, finishing in two hours 43 minutes. Thanks to the generosity of her friends, neighbours and colleagues, she is on target to raise a further £1,300.

You can still make a donation at http://www.justgiving.com/sarahcourbet 

“The Stroke Association carries out amazing work supporting both the sufferers and their families, and I am delighted to be able to raise money for them,” Sarah concludes.

Above: Sarah, Martin and Cherry after the New Forest Half Marathon.

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