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Alison runs Essex 10k Cross Country Series for FMA UK

Alison Collins is running the  Essex 10k Cross Country Series which are five 10k runs, one a month, from May toSeptember.   She is also going to be taking part in the Westminster Mile in May, the Chelmsford Race for Business in June (5k) and the Anniversary Run in the Olympic Park (5 mile) in July.   Alison's daughter Emma has Fibromyalgia since she was 18, and because of this Alison chose to run and raise funds for FMA UK.

Alison gives us an update so far: 

Race 1 -  I managed to finish in just over 1hr 15mins which we were very pleased with taking into account a couple of hiccups on the way (some of my doing).

We got off to a false start when the lead runners went the wrong way so had to turn back after about ½ km and go back to the start line – still that was a good warm up I suppose.   Then less than 1km into the race, I ended up face down in the woods, having tripped up.   My right elbow and left knee took the brunt (can’t quite work that out), but my palms were covered in mud and sore so I made a detour to the nearest loo and washed the mud off my hands to check they weren’t bleeding.   We carried on for the rest of the race, with my knee and shoulder getting increasingly sore.  

We finally got to the last lap having been overtaken by most of the other runners and were on the home straight with less than ½ km to go when I tripped again and fell back onto my elbow, which was already cut quite badly, and winded myself.   I got up, rather tearful from the shock, walked a few steps trying to get my breath back to normal and then ran to the finish line to be greeted by Steve, Emma and Jordan – and a group of First Aiders!!

The aim for my next four runs is not only to get around, but to stay upright all the way!!

Race 2  - Well I’m pleased to say that not only did I improve my time on Saturday – finishing in just over 1hr 7mins, but I managed to remain upright throughout, with no injuries!

After a  very hot week, luckily for me (but not for everyone else) it was a very cool morning on Saturday, plus the course was less hilly so all good.   It was in two laps of 5km each and I managed the first lap in just over 33 minutes which I was very pleased with.   I struggled at the beginning of the second lap and then got a surge of energy for a while, but finished very slowly – the last km seemed to be twice as long, so I was really surprised with the timing.

This has been a real challenge and something I am unlikely to do again(!), but I am amazed that I have so far managed to raise £680 for the Fibromyalgia Association.  My next run is on 5th July at Thorndon Park, Brentwood.

Thank you to Alison for more updates

Race 3 - Well, that’s one more 10km run over with.  I can now say I am over halfway through  my challenge!  Sarah and I managed it in 1hr 10mins and 55 seconds, a bit slower than the previous one, but it was a bit more hilly.   We had done this one last year so knew what to expect – one enormous hill (twice) so we paced ourselves for that and walked up it both times – last time we tried to run up it the first time and nearly killed ourselves!!  Heavy rain was forecast but, apart from a few spots of rain, it held off until we had finished.   Again we achieved our aim of not coming last – I think there were 5 or 6 people behind us!

Our next 10km we have been told is “a bit hilly” which is a bit worrying as they have all been a bit hilly so far!   It is at Hadleigh Castle on Saturday 2nd August.   In between we are doing a 5 mile run around the Olympic Park on 20th July, which should be fun (hopefully!!).

Thank you again to all who have sponsored me.  So far I have managed to raise over £700 for The Fibromyalgia Association

Race 4 - NEVER AGAIN!!  Will I run 10km around Hadleigh Country Park.   This was by far the hardest of the races I have done so far and we have been reassured that the next one won’t be as hard!   We completed it in 1hr 23min 40!   It was extremely hilly, uneven and slippery in places and was extremely humid – the rain that was forecast was a no-show and would have been so welcome.


Thank you again to my running partner, Sarah, without whom I would nowhere near finish these races, and to all of you who have sponsored me so far.   You have no idea how that keeps me going.   Also, thank you to my cheerleaders Steve and Emma, and also Jordan for taking part as well this time.

Only one more to go and then I am finished.  In the meantime I am pleased to say I have raised £789 with a further £40 at least pledged.   I would be delighted to be able to donate at least £850 for the Fibromyalgia Association, if possible.


Race 5 


I have run five 10km races over the summer from May to September, each one a real challenge.   The last one was at South Weald park in Brentwood, again hilly and involved three laps.   We managed to complete it in  1hr 14minutes in very warm weather!!  It’s a lovely feeling to know that next month I won’t have to do another one!!

Thank you once again to all of you who have sponsored me.  So far I have raised/had pledged over £900 for the Fibromyalgia Association.   I started off with a modest ambition of raising £250 – I would now love to get to a round £1,000!!  

Thank you (I think) also to Emma for inspiring me to do this and also for being at the finish line for most of the races.   Also to Steve for being my official cheerleader and photographer.

The biggest thanks though goes to Sarah who ran each one with me and without whom I really would not have been able to complete them!


Thank you so much once again.



Alison is a real inspiration, pushing herself to complete this arduous challenge and just shows what is possible with determination.  Our admiration and heartfelt thanks go to her and her team who supported her all the way.


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