On Sunday, 6 November 2011, with my son as my guide and Nomboso Gumbi (my other guide) I crossed the finishing line of the New York Marathon, in 10 hours and seven seconds!

It had never been on my bucket list. Especially if you consider that I have Cerebral Palsy, didn't walk until I was five years old, have a disabled parking badge on my car and, in the last two years, have been so crippled by back pain that I have landed up in a wheelchair twice.

When a friend asked me in the January if I would like to do the New York Marathon my immediate reaction was, "Hell no!" But then it got me thinking. What would it take? Could my body do it? Or, more importantly, did I want to do it? It was the start of an incredible journey of discovery.

Firstly we had to research my body's ability and, thanks to the help and support of Dominic Fisher and everyone at the Gait and Motion Lab at Stellenbosch University, we were able to measure and show the improvement in my gait.

Self-discipline, plus the support of my husband, Christopher, and our dog, Tallulah, who both accompanied me on my many training walks, got me to achieve this adventure.

The NewYork Marathon is the only one in the world where you do not have to have done a previous marathon, nor is there a cut off time. I was one of the 280 Achilles runners - the international organization that facilitates people withdisabilities to "run" the Marathon.

Accompanied by my guides as well as 45,000 other runners, on a cloudless, windless and warm day we "ran" through five New York boroughs - a truly unforgettable experience! - Hillary Lane

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