Valerie McCluskie runs River Ness 10km in aide of CSF Leak Association

On Sunday 25th September 2016, Valerie took part in the River Ness 10km run in order to raise money and awareness for the CSF Leak Association. Here she gives us an insight into the event, her training regime, and the challenge of fundraising!

Thank you for fundraising for the CSF Leak Association Valerie! What made you choose the Association as your charity to fundraise for?

I have known David and Cerian for a number of years and have seen this condition in action, the impact it has had. I wanted to do something concrete to help.

Tell us about the event you took part in... Why did you choose the River Ness 10km?

I ran the River Ness 10km race as part of the Inverness Festival of Running in September '16. I had run this before back in 2009, and knew the course, I also wanted to challenge the older me against the younger me!

How did you train for it?

I'm lucky enough to have a lovely dog, Daisy, to walk and run with and I started out on shorter runs about 2 months before the race to see how we would both get on. I actually entered the race when I was on a 'high' from a super run one day and wanted to challenge myself!

I was pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying it almost from the first, and my dog Daisy does too!

We increased our mileage gradually so I was comfortable running about 5 miles. Then I also joined a local Facebook running group for women only and found an experienced running 'buddy' who helped me with companionship on runs and some good advice about pace etc.

What was the course like?

It's a lovely open course, starting in a residential area, before descending a little through 2 - 3 miles of woodland on a single track road, and then a long straight into Inverness, finishing in a party atmosphere with goodies like bananas and popcorn!

Were there any highlights during the race or whilst training?

I have been exceptionally lucky this year with the weather, mostly I've been able to run in the dry and in the sun, and I've seen some fantastic views crossing fields near to where I live on the Black Isle. The autumn colours this year are also breath-taking! Another highlight was beating my 'old record' on the run of 1 hour and 1 minute to finish in 58m 58secs.

What about any low points - how did you get through them?

Not low-points as such, I think I have just been enjoying running too much for that! However I have suffered from muscle-strain particularly in one hamstring, which has meant quite a lot of discomfort and painful sports massages.

How did you fundraise?

I set up a fundraising page with BT MyDonate and then asked virtually everyone I know to sponsor me!

Do you have any tips for future fundraisers?

I think probably to think about it well in advance (unlike me who left it to the last minute) - be prepared to be quite forthright in asking for sponsorship - they can only say no (preferably Yes!). Also a few people approached me and emailed me asking about CSF Leaks, so I had to make sure I knew what I was talking about.

Thank you again Valerie, and a huge congratulations to you on beating your PB! Valerie’s page is open until the end of the year so there is still plenty of time to donate.

A woman doing yoga with a CSF Leak Association shirt.

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