7th May 2024

Running Star Mandy gets ready for the Great North Run

When You Wish Upon a Star Trustee Mandy Sims is getting ready for the Great North Run on Sunday 8th September. Team Wish are still looking for runners to take part and help fundraise for our incredible charity, here is what Mandy has to say about the experience:

Can you tell us why When You Wish Upon a Star is meaningful to you?

WYWUAS means the world to me, when our youngest daughter, Abbie, was 7 years old she was diagnosed with a massive brain tumour, our world as we knew it was over. I’m beyond grateful that after 13 months of Chemotherapy and 3 brain surgeries amongst many other operations and tests , 20 years on she is doing well despite many disabilities. The memories of that time are still very much with us and thankfully they weren’t all so terrible. WUWUAS helped us fulfil our daughter’s dream of meeting her favourite band, McFly. At a time of such uncertainty having something so positive to focus on and talk about with Abbie was a game changer. We had smiles all round, not only Abbie but her sister Emma, us (Mum and Dad) and her grandparents, family and school friends were also happy for her.

How many times have you ran the Great North Run?

I’ve ran the Great North Run about 10 times

What is your favourite part of the Great North Run?

GNR is my favourite race ever, people ask about the London Marathon (I’ve done that twice) it’s not a patch on GNR.  The people, the atmosphere, the emotion, literally the crowds get you to the finish line! And there is an amazing chip shop at the end.

What are your top 5 training tips for new runners?

- Get a training plan.

- Practice  running in what you are wearing on the day, no new trainers!

- Get to the start in plenty of time, to be fair if you are early it’s fabulous to talk to your fellow runners, listen to their stories and watch in ore at some of the outfits people are running in!

- Get in line for the toilet even though you don’t need it, you will by the time you get to the front!

- Enjoy, don’t worry about your time, do your best and be kind, you will come away with a much better experience than trying to push past people.

What are your must haves on race day?

Porridge and a banana for breakfast.

What does Wish granting mean to you?

I know the positive effect a wish can have on a child and their family, people sometimes avoid you because they don’t want to upset you or they really don’t know what to say, when they hear about a child’s wish it’s a must easier way to start a conversation.  Also, and there will be many times, when that child is feeling sad or anxious it’s a wonderful distraction to be able to use to really be able to relax and smile about the good things that have happened to them.

What message would you like to share with others who are considering running for When You Wish Upon a Star at this years Great North Run?

Do it, don’t hesitate, I’m 58, I wasn’t a runner but the joy and the memories I’ve created are amazing.  Do it for others, raise a few pounds but at the end you will realise you did it for yourself too and you should be very proud.

Why do you love running?

I was in my 40’s  when I started running, like everyone life was busy and I didn’t really make time for me.  I didn’t ever think I’d be able to run to the bottom of my street yet alone a marathon but if I can do it I think you could Running keeps me fit, it’s relatively inexpensive, I have my best (or worst depending on your prospective) ideas when I’m running, it’s like mindfulness, your worries get lost for a while and best of all I can eat all the chocolate I want.

Mandy GNR 2

Want to get involved and be part of something amazing? 

Email fundraising@whenyouwish.org.uk for more information and to register you interest!

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