Red Carpet, Prince Harry and a Special Award
After my last blog of taking ‘a few too many pills’ I thought today I would bring some positive vibes back into my writing. Well I will try anyway. For those of you who do not follow me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, know me in person, or have even been hiding under a rock then you will not have seen the photos or be aware of the incredible evening which I had last Monday (13th November).
On Monday, I travelled to London, a City which I am becoming more and more attached to each time I go. I, along with my 9 other Mind Over Marathon team mates had been nominated for a Virgin Giving Money, Mind Media Award. We had been nominated for Best Documentary. Such an incredible honour to be nominated and up against some truly remarkable people and programmes.
The awards were held at the Odeon, Leicester Square and I knew that Prince Harry would be attending. Having never been to an awards ceremony before I did not know what to expect. Being a special and momentous occasion, I even wore a dress and heels, which is a rarity for me. I am glad I booked a hotel close to the Odeon, as me walking in heels with plantar fasciitis was interesting.
It was so good to arrive at the Odeon and see all of my fellow runners, along with run coaches, Nick and production crew. It was then the enormity of where we were and what we had achieved kicked in. Firstly there was red carpet, secondly there were lots of celebrities on the red carpet being photographed and thirdly, we did not have to queue, we just walked in past security to have our pictures taken on the red carpet!
We then headed to our seats which had been individually reserved for us. We were sat in the 3rd row behind Andrea and Nadia from Loose Women and behind us was Lorraine Kelly. Does it get anymore unreal for a normal girl who spoke about her mental health. The awards were opened by Stephen Fry and hosted by Fearne Cotton. Soon on stage were George Ezra, Harry Judd, John Thomson, Bryony Gordon, some of the cast of Hollyoaks and many others who I had seen on my TV screen. Everyone who had been nominated in their specific category were amazing. I saw clips of incredible courage, adversity, bravery and sadness. All nominees recognised and rightly deserved.
Approximately half way through the evening Prince Harry stepped on to the stage and gave a moving speech about how conversations around mental health were changing. His speech was emotional as he talked about 10 special people who had not only opened out personally to friends and family but shared their story with the nation. Prince Harry thanked those 10 people and announced that the Special Award on ‘Speaking Out’ was to be awarded to the 10 Mind Over Marathon runners. My shoes had been put back on at this point as all 10 of us made our way up the steps to the stage to be presented with our award. All I could think about was ‘there is Prince Harry, walk like you are not in pain, and whatever you do, do not fall over’. Fearne Cotton was holding a silver tray with 10 medals on, but Prince Harry just wanted to give us all a hug. I did not want to let him go. Was I really on stage receiving a hug off Prince Harry with people cheering and clapping? This is a moment that I will never forget. The standing ovation and that moment was one of the proudest that I have ever had. To be standing there next to 9 other incredible people was amazing.
Mel, Poppy, Rhian, SeSe, Claudia, Sam, Paul, Steve, Jake we did it. Twelve months ago, we started this crazy journey together and along with Chevy, Charlie, Nick and the amazing crew we created something incredible. We have all had our struggles along the way, but having each and every one of you at the end of the phone or WhatsApp group is what makes our bond so special. I guess not one of us would ever have imagined on that cold morning in Bisham Abbey that we would have mixed with Royalty, ran a marathon and/or jumped individual hurdles. Heres to the next MOM challenge. X