In 2020, I'll be sixty.
Thank you, no, I can't believe it either, but it's true.
And I've wanted to run the London Marathon for years. In a previous life, I was part of the logistics operation that supported the marathon and, believe me, that was huge and challenging and exciting, without running a step. And a few years ago our son ran London for Asthma UK and we jumped across Lodon to cheer him on from as many places as possible. Ever since, I've wanted to be part of that something larger than myself, that excitement, that fun, that buzz! I've applied to the ballot for the last 6 years and I have the London Marathon running shirts to prove it, but year after year I've had the 'Sorry, but ...' letter, received with that bittersweet mixture of disappointment and relief.
So, I thought, if I'm ever going to run London, I'd better get on and do something about it; did I mention that I'm going to be 60 in 2020? Now, I enjoy running, but a good-for-age place was never within sight (less than 3:45 for my age group ... ), so my only option was a charity place.
Having reached that conclusion, deciding on a charity was easy. Macmillan supported my Dad and the whole family when my Dad was dying of cancer 20 years ago. I was impressed by their care and compassion then; they continue to provide that same mix of care, compassion and practical support now and it's needed more than ever. So I applied to Macmillan and, happy days, they have given me one of the places on their London Marathon 2020 team!
You'd imagine that at this point, all you have to do is get your head down and run, run, run. No, it seems not! I set up a fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving; Not done that for a long time. I downloaded the training plan (how far?!), I'm planning fundraising events and I booked a couple of autumn half marathons (Northampton and Rugby to start with) to keep me motivated in the short term.
Only then could I run, run, run! Oh yes - I did 115 training kilometres in August and 116 in September. Obviously, that will ramp up over the coming months, but that feels like a solid start to an irregular like me, taking advantage of the last of the summer sunshine. Which is good, because I only have 6 months of dark, cold, wet, winter weather to look forward to ...
If you want to support me and the amazing work that Macmillan do, then please visit my fundraising webpage and make a donation! And remember - please Gift Aid your donation if you’re a UK taxpayer!
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