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Emma and Alice smiling together

Why I'm running a Half Marathon at Edinburgh

Hannah Maunder

Emma’s running her first half marathon in support of her girlfriend Alice, who has MS.

I didn't know about MS really until I met Alice. I became a lot more aware of was it was and how it affects people. I’m amazed at the courage people living with MS have.

I decided to raise money and support the MS Society as I'd like to raise awareness of MS and why it's important to understand the condition.

Learning about MS with Alice

It's been very interesting, at times frightening, learning about MS through Alice’s experience of living with it. Alice doesn't really have any physical signs at the moment to show she has MS, she looks very fit and healthy. It's made me understand more about invisible illness.

However, Alice has had episodes where she’s struggled to stand for any amount of time. She's had issues with her eye sight and has lost sight completely momentarily. She can get hand tremors that can affect simply pouring cereal in the morning.

Living with her and witnessing her symptoms has definitely helped me to understand when she might need a little help or if she needs a rest day.

Understanding MS symptoms

Being with someone unable to do the things you can with the same ease is a lot different from reading about symptoms in a leaflet.

It's very hard knowing there's nothing I can do to stop Alice’s symptoms flaring up, but she’s very determined and knows her body's limits. So I just take note and understand what I can do to make her more comfortable if it happens again.

Inspired by Alice

I came to support Alice last year at the Edinburgh Half Marathon as she ran it herself to raise money for the MS Society.

The buzz and the atmosphere from the spectators and the joy and accomplishment from Alice made me want to do it this year in support of MS, but also Alice.

This isn't something I would have thought to do, but if Alice can run 13 miles with MS, well then I can do it too!

Ready, set, go

I have been out at night running after work just to keep familiar with road running and pacing myself. We’ve also been going to the gym together to work on strengthening up muscles and more targeted fitness.

I’m feeling nervous but excited. I'm definitely worried about the distance, but I've heard nothing but praise from Alice about the crowd’s energy and the support from the sideline.P I'm excited to take on this new challenge and smash it! (I'm also in it for the cool t-shirt...!)