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Marathon Preparation

I’ve only gone and done it! - committed to running the big one, the TCS London Marathon!

During 2021, with increasing running distances, I decided to see if I could cope with a marathon, running 20 miles 32km in one go locally, which took me a smidge over 4 hours and it was only with the increasing mid-morning heat, that I decided to leave it at 20 miles. I knew I had another 6 miles in me and that a marathon distance was achievable. I applied for the London Marathon 2022 ballot as this was the last time it would take place in early October, meaning I could train during the summer months, rather than pound pavements in the dark winter months leading up to the usual April marathon.

After the sheer disappointment of missing out in the London Marathon ballot for October 2022, and not having any decision in over 7 months, to run on behalf of Children with Cancer UK, a charity I raised over £1,700 for in my 2020 challenge, a couple of running ladies suggested I apply to our local charity St Wilfrids Hospice. They replied straight away that their places for 2022 had been allocated, but I could fill in the application form for one of their charity places for the London Marathon April 2023. Within 5 days they had confirmed I had the first of their 5 places. I was delighted.


Fundraising for a charity can be as great a commitment to your time as training for the marathon and it should not be underestimated just how challenging it can be. In fact it can tend to dominate your thoughts and life in my experience. My advice is start as early as you can. Do not wait believing donations to your fundraising page will follow just before or after the actual event. In my fundraising just 11% of the total donations were made between 13 April and 8 May 2023.

Do not underestimate the effectiveness of collection boxes in local shops.Given the grim forecast of unacceptable energy prices rises and double figure inflation, I knew it was important to receive as many local donations as I could before the October 2022 energy price cap increase, as many local people who kindly previously supported me in 2020, may find more difficult to make a donation. My family had pledged to cover half the required £2,000 fundraising target. I had agreed to personally make up any shortfall. It was therefore a priority to get my fundraising page set up early and also get my fundraising cards printed to give out. At the end of July 2022, at my request, the charity provided me with 30 posters and 4 collection boxes which local retailers had previously agreed to host for me. Three months later, some nice person had removed most of my posters! I put up replacements and even more posters in March, also increasing the number of collection boxes in shops to six. The total donations received from the collection boxes was £293 (15 boxes collected from 2 August 2022 to 8 May 2023)

As many runners use the Strava app to log their runs and routes, I too joined, formed a local runners club and word was locally, that many runners on Strava would donate. Of my 42 followers on Strava, nine kindly made a donation.

Fundraising PostersAfter eleven months fundraising awareness, with people that know me and see me running everyday, I received 23 local donations to my fundraising page, including four from near neighbours and nine from fellow runners. I also received a very generous, anonymous single donation of £250. I raised a total of £3,541 (including gift aid) for this highly-valued, much needed local charity. Fundraising in the media-hyped "cost-of-living crisis" has been difficult but those that have supported me (64), were exceptionally generous.

As part of my planning, I made sure most of the other logistics were in place early. I booked a hotel for the night before the marathon and the Sunday night in June 2022 for £113. However the original Travelodge at Peckham Rye was not opened in time, so I was transferred to the Travelodge at Woolwich at no extra cost, nearer to the start but a long way from the finish. Hotels at the finish near The Mall are much more expensive. I also needed to familiar myself with the present London Transport, zones, Oyster cards etc which I needed to get acquainted with way before travelling, so I could zip around like Jason Bourne.

I discovered a great website Marathon Handbook an absolute must for all marathon runners, along with the Runners World magazine and website have some really great information, especially for the first-time marathon runner! I also bought a great book Four Months to a 4-Hour Marathon, which I can highly recommend.

On 30 November 2022, I completed my last challenge of running 5,000miles in 1,000 calendar days, despite being over 300 miles behind target in January 2022, I managed to complete my 5,000 miles 39 days early in 961 calendar days - (536 running days).

Training for the TSC London Marathon….

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Running the TCS London Marathon 2023

Fundraising cards