I turn 30 in 2018 and near the top on my bucket list is running the Virgin London Marathon. I'm one of the millions who sit there year in and year out watching the marathon on the tele, or atleast the first couple of hours, and feel goose bumps every time they play the iconic theme tune and watch a sea of ordinary looking super humans take on the challenge. And like those millions i normally sit there year in, year out and vow to run it next year, if only it were that simple!!!
For the past 6 years i sporadically submitted myself into the Virgin London Marathon ballot and each year I was one of the unlucky masses not selected to take part. I realise i could have run much sooner if I'd aligned myself to a charity but the thought of raising over £1500 put me off immediately, I hate asking for money at the best of times but asking for such a large amount from people for a charity that I probably was never going to be overly connected to seemed a few bridges too far. Instead I kept entering and running 10k's and mud runs with my best friend Paul, not always running for charity but just for fun and the exercise.
Then early in 2016 my wife and I found out that her father would soon be needing to go onto dialysis for the second time in his life and ultimately would be needing his 2nd kidney transplant. I realised that I could have a chance with a charity i would actually have links to and be able to use personal links to help me push myself. I began researching Kidney charities and if any had bond places in the London Marathon. I was incredibly surprised to discover that no Kidney charity holds a golden bond place within the London Marathon and only a handful (i think 2) hold silver/bronze places and even they are alternated year on year. Whilst i understand people may see this as controversial, i couldnt believe how many different cancer charities were guarenteed large numbers of golden bond places every year and yet small struggling charities were often over looked. I contacted all the Kidney charities listed and was amazed to find out that the SOUTH WEST KIDNEY FUND, based out of St Heliers Hospital in South London had a place and would welcome me to their running team with open arms. This could not have been more perfect as this was the very hospital that my father in law underwent his first transplant and where he would be beginning his dialysis this time. I knew this would be a tough challenge but all the pieces seemed to fall into the right place.
My friend Paul took little convincing to try and get himself a charity place to run along side me, he too didn't want to run for just any chairity and began looking for ones that would have a cause close to him and his family. He soon discovered that Dyslexia Research held places and were looking for runners to fill them. His daughter is highly dyslexic and it has a bigger impact on her life than most people would realise, so again this was a perfect match and the research trust welcomed him with open arms.
So that was it, we both had places and both had charities that we felt passionately about raising money for, all we had to do now was drag ourselves around 26.2 miles of London streets, oh and raise over £3000 between us.
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