Late last week I received an email from Guinness World Records (TM) about the Run To London which read:
"Thank you for sending us the details of your recent record attempt for 'run from Leeds to London'. We are afraid to say that we are unable to accept this as a Guinness World Record."
"We receive over 60,000 enquiries a year from which only a small proportion are approved by our experienced researchers to establish new categories. These are not 'made up' to suit an individual proposal, but rather 'evolve' as a result of international competition in a field, which naturally accommodates superlatives of the sort that we are interested in. We think you will appreciate that we are bound to favour those that reflect the greatest interest."
"Guinness World Records has absolute discretion as to which Guinness World Record applications are accepted and our decision is final. Guinness World Records may at its discretion and for whatever reason identify some records as either no longer monitored by Guinness World Records or no longer viable."
Of course I'm disappointed and I thank everyone who has offered words of congratulations even though the event will not be recognised officially as a record.
All this was brutally put into perspective though by the news I received yesterday afternoon. As you will know if you were a regular reader of the Run To London blog, one of the helpers, Helen Barber (Sly), has a brother in law (Mick) who has penile cancer. Well, his cancer has spread and it isn't deemed curable ...
I really don't know what to say at this point. I've never met Mick but Helen and I have exchanged a couple of emails recently and obviously she's a bit numb with shock at the moment. I know from experience that the shock will pass and then the job becomes one of living life to the full - as much as is possible in light of things such as pain, swelling, morphine, etc.
I believe Helen knows this and, although my cancer obviously wasn't terminal, it does seem strange offering support because one of the few ways I know how to do that is to relate some of the things I saw and did whilst I had cancer. I also know that talking about one's own medical history can be incredibly boring and off putting to most people.
If ever Helen needs someone to talk to though, to 'get things off her chest' perhaps ... I am more than willing to be there for her. Just to listen, read her emails, whatever she wants.