Marie Birch opens up about her breakdown and race back to the top just a year later.
The streets will come alive again on 21 July with the return of the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k.
Grimsby runner, Marie, 41, suffered an anxiety attack on the day of the 2017 Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k, but is now back on top in time for this year’s event.
“Anyone who has ever had a panic attack knows that it is an awful feeling and very frightening,” said Marie.
“I’d done a bit of running before, but nothing serious, and I didn’t set out with any plans to run the Grimsby 10k.
“My husband ran the 10k with his daughter in 2017, so I went to go and see them afterwards to congratulate them.
“The park was really busy with people milling around. I found it overwhelming and started to get anxious and had a breakdown.
“It didn’t come out of the blue; I have struggled with anxiety for a long time and so have many people in my family.
“I have never spoken to anyone about it or dealt with it before, I just bottled it up.
“I think that’s why it came on me in the way that it did; the tipping point was coming and it was that day.
“It took several weeks for me to feel okay again.”
Marie added: “I went to see a GP and began to get support because I knew I couldn’t ignore it and didn’t want to risk it happening again.
“My husband spoke to me about what happened on that day and said ‘If you’re worried about what happened why don’t you run the 2018 Grimsby 10k to conquer your fear.’”
“I considered it but didn’t say yes straight away.
“It was in the back of my mind and then one day I thought ‘I’ll do it!’.
She said: “I didn’t want to give myself room to back out so without hesitation I went online and signed up.
“I didn’t train for the run – I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself, I just turned up on race day in 2018 and ran it.
“It was a great feeling that I was in the same place as I was a year before when I was having a terrible experience, but this time I was challenging my fears and not struggling at all.
“I finished in about 1 hour and 23 minutes; I didn’t walk or take any breaks I just kept a really slow steady pace.
“It felt great to cross the finish line and I walked into the park full of people and just loved the buzz and the atmosphere with no worries at all.
“My mum and children were waiting for me at the end which really spurred me on.
“It was such an achievement I was so happy and I’m really looking forward to running it again this year.
“That’s not all though, I’ve got four 10k events lined up for this year.
She said: “I have started light training and although I haven’t set a goal I would like to drop my time by a few minutes.
“Although my breakdown was not a good moment it was good because it pushed me to go and see someone and deal with those feelings.
“I had bottled my anxieties and fears up for so long it was a relief just to speak to someone about it.
“I still struggle with anxiety day to day but have come on in leaps and bounds.
“I’m proud of my journey out of that anxious place and I will always remember the 2018 Grimsby 10k as a huge personal achievement.
Marie added: “Many barriers are mental and it never is as big of a struggle as you imagine it to be, finishing a 10k is a great feeling and I would encourage anyone to do it.
“If I can do it, so can you.”
The Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k is more than a race; it raises thousands of pounds for local charities and brings people together to support the runners and the community on the whole.
Sign up now at www.greatgrimsby10k.com for just £17 or £15 for affiliated running club members.
The 2019 Ørsted Great Grimsby 10K takes place on Sunday 21 July 2019 and starts at 10am outside Grimsby Town Hall.
Sign up day will be held on Saturday 18 May 10 – 4pm at the Humber Royal Hotel.
Entries are filling up fast so anyone who would like to run is encouraged to sign up at www.greatgrimsby10k.com quickly.
Runners enjoy water, sponge and sweet stations and a medal and t-shirt at the end to show friends and family!
Last year’s Ørsted Great Grimsby 10K helped raise around £15,000 directly for the seven charities from race entries, fundraiser places and other initiatives.
A £1 donation is made from every race entry into a fund shared between the event’s charity partners – Harbour Place, RNLI, Marie Curie, St Andrew’s Hospice, Grimsby Rotary Club, The Health Tree Foundation and Inspire TCI.
The total amount raised for charity is believed to be much higher after the many people taking part on behalf of charities are taken into account.
Hundreds of volunteering opportunities are also created for local people making the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k much more than a race. Volunteers can sign up at www.tape2tape.co.uk/volunteer.
If you have a story to share about why you’re running the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s is also a 2k Family Fun run that starts and finishes under the same arches as the main race.
You can follow the Ørsted Great Grimsby 10k using #GY10K on social media for news and race photos: