On Sunday 2nd October, early in the morning, our amazing team of nine runners will start to limber up for the world famous London Marathon. We are incredibly proud of each of our runners who train for months, through injury and all weathers.
One of our team, Tony, told us about the challenges he has faced and how he feels about running the 26.2 miles in just over a week’s time.
What motivated you to run The London Marathon?
In 2020, I felt that I needed to put more energy into aspects of my life that weren’t work focused. I ran the Virtual London Marathon in 2020. Training during the early COVID days was very difficult but I soon found my tribe in my local running club and the rest they say, is history! Running helps to clear my head, it gives me time to work on my health.
Why did you want to run it for Chance for Childhood?
I wasn’t successful in my ballot application for the 2022 London Marathon so I set out looking for a charity that wasn’t one of the bigger charities and one that I truly believed would make the greatest difference. We as a family believe in the values Chance for Childhood holds and that every child deserves the very best start in life. Being a Zimbabwean born, my wife has witnessed first hand how some African communities struggle.
The support Chance for Childhood have given me has absolutely blown me away. They have gone above and beyond with what I would call the “personal touch”. Every communication I’ve had has been so uplifting, supportive and thankful.
How is your training going?
Well, I’ve had more injury than I have had training! My mother in law always says “runners love the pain” and I’m beginning to think there may be truth in that. I run through the pain because I have an end goal in sight. I’ve trained in pouring rain, in snow showers, in blazing sun and even while we are on holiday, but nothing can stop me because I’m so passionate about this!
What are you finding most challenging about preparing for your first marathon?
These injuries! I’ll think I’m clear and on the road to picking up my training plan from where I left off and then there would be another niggle that turned into something bigger that stopped me from putting my all into the training! It’s been so frustrating! Along with my tribe at my local running club, my sports therapist has continued to support and encourage my training whilst ensuring that I still keep at my peak fitness despite the injuries I’ve had.
What do you find most rewarding about training for the marathon?
I find the most rewarding part of training is meeting the goals I’ve set for myself in my training plan and knowing each step up is one step closer to the big day. It brings me such self-satisfaction and a feeling of achievement. I do love having an awesome run and almost high fiving myself because it felt so good!
What message would you give to those thinking about running a marathon for charity?
Go for it! You have absolutely nothing at all to lose! I was very apprehensive to apply for a charity place because I didn’t think I knew many people. It turns out that I shouldn’t have put so much energy into worrying because everyone has been so kind and donated so generously, even those I don’t know. The support and messages of encouragement have been overwhelming.
Tell us about your fundraising and what has worked well for you in raising sponsorship?
This really stumped me in the beginning of this journey! I believed I had too small a pool of friends, in fact many are part of my running life so why would they support another bingo night, fundraiser or even pay any attention to a raffle when several others in our club are doing just the same – how wrong was I! I did host an epic Bingo night, and we raffled off Naming a Teddy Bear (which my daughter was convinced she was going to win and keep forever!), auctioned off tickets to local music festivals and donated products which we got through approaching local businesses. If you don’t ask, you don’t get, so my advice is ask everyone you can think of from your local mini supermarket to the well known theatres in your area. They are all willing to help if they can.
What are you most looking forward to about the marathon?
Having a beer and the obligatory Jaffa Cake! Seriously though, just having the sense of immense achievement and knowing I’ve worked so hard for that moment and now I’ve smashed it!
Do you want to follow in Tony’s footsteps and take on this incredible challenge with Team Chance for Childhood? We have places for the 2023 London Marathon and applications are open!