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Message of thanks from Hilary West

18th Nov 2013

Hilary West was presented with the Leonadis Trophy at the recent Club prize presentation:

I would like to say a huge "THANK YOU" for the award I received last night. I am very humbled by the decision as I know there are other Harriers who have battled with illness and continued to run.

When they made their decision, the committee couldn't have known the significance of this weekend for me and my family. On Friday I received the all clear from my last, ever CT scan and I was discharged from hospital after a long and rocky 11 years of follow-up screening for bowel cancer.

Being diagnosed with a serious illness certainly gives you a different outlook on life and makes you appreciate the simple things in life. If someone had told me 11 years ago that I would be awarded the Leonadis Trophy by Stockport Harriers I would probably have slapped them in the face! Some might think that I don't take running very seriously when they see my choice of hats or my wearing of a crop top in the summer but I do try hard. I have only been a member ...of the Harriers since 2009 and was immediately impressed by the warm welcome given to newcomers. Maureen and Julie were so encouraging and when I moved to Ron and Syd's group, to concentrate on shorter distances, they too encouraged me to carry on. People often ask me if I'm going to do a marathon but sadly my surgically re-designed body can only manage to run 10k before it malfunctions. I may never win any major races but I will "have a go" at most things!

I'd like to say to our younger members, who may at times become disillusioned with running; you have a talent, we can try to encourage you but only you can use it. The talent you have is a gift and there are many who wished they had it too.

I'll close by saying, remember life is not a rehearsal, live each day to the full and always wear a smile because you might make the day of the person who sees it!

Thank you again,
Hils a.k.a. "Have a go Hilary"!