Dunfermline mother of three Wendy Rand said on her first blog post this February that she wouldn’t call herself a born runner, and yet in less than three months she had gone from running 10K at a time to completing her first half marathon in under two hours. Wendy, who attends The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Dunfermline, described how running had become part of her spiritual time, and she wanted to share her thoughts in the hope they would help to lift others. So far her inspirational messages relate to such experiences as running in the rain or uphill, or when she’s just plain exhausted. Wendy’s blog (http://inspirationalruns.blogspot.co.uk) is already stirring both the feet and hearts of others.
On April 17th Wendy’s spiritual and physical exertions led her to a moment of striking clarity and a bold decision; she came home from her 16K run and immediately signed up for the Loch Leven Half Marathon, a feat she had never before attempted. That day she decided she would run for her Nephew Zac, who had lost the fight against Cockayne Syndrome at age 3 ½. Wendy would run with a purpose, to raise money for Amy & Friends Cockayne Syndrome Support, a charity run by Jayne Hughes, who had provided invaluable support for Zac and his family in the final weeks of his life and after his death. As well as supporting families and sufferers of Cockayne Syndrome, Amy and Friends helps raise awareness and supports research into this devastating genetic illness.
Wendy explained how Zac literally gave her the energy to keep going when running was difficult and she thought of that exceptional little boy and his determination and lively personality. She wrote “I love and miss you Zac...thank you for continuing to inspire me to overcome hard things.”
Wendy’s latest post, “Running with Butterflies” is truly awe-inspiring. Her review of the big race expressed how she was so nervous she had butterflies in her tummy, and she thought of Zac and other children as beautiful butterflies and felt that Zac was with her, helping her make the distance. True to form, and perhaps unwittingly, Wendy sums up life itself when she writes: “Yes, the race was hard, BUT IT WAS WORTH IT!”
The fact that Wendy achieved her fundraising target of £500 for Amy & Friends in less than a month proves that Zac is inspiring strangers, too. It’s astonishing to witness what an influence one treasured soul can have on the world without even being there in person.
Jayne Hughes whose daughter Amy has Cockayne Syndrome, said “Wendy is a wonderful lady…She ran every step of the way thinking of our children who have either lost the ability to walk or were never able to and I'm sure they were all with her in spirit.”