What inspired you to take on the London Marathon?

To me, the London Marathon is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I started running in 2018 and since then I have taken part in many half marathons located around the South of England. I wanted to take on a bigger a challenge and above all I wanted to take on a challenge that could combine both running and fundraising.

Being offered a place to run the London Marathon for Single Homeless Project (SHP) was a dream come true. The work of SHP changes the lives of those that, at times, are the most vulnerable within our society and that was something I wanted to be part of.

Living in central London I am reminded on a daily basis able the true extent of homelessness crisis and the problem is only getting worse. This motivated me to fundraise for SHP, but it also motivates me on each training run I head out on because I know that the work I’m doing will help to change someone’s life – even if it’s just a little.

Is there anything you’d do differently when training for the rescheduled marathon?

Training for a marathon the first time is tough! Training for it twice can only be harder. Both physically and mentally, marathon training takes a huge toll on the body. My first attempt at training started in January 2020.

I set out a 16-week training plan with the use of some research online which included running, swimming, spin classes and yoga. Alongside this I decided to change my diet to ensure that my body was well fuelled for the extra work I was set out to do – chicken and rice! Some other attempts to help with the training included cutting out alcohol and coffee.

I definitely learnt a lot from my first go at training and I’m hoping to make positive changes to make the next attempt more enjoyable. More rest days is top priority. I only managed to get one rest day a week previously, but I think it’s important to try and take two rest days to refuel and make sure each training run is to the best of my ability.

As I’ll now be running in October 2021 it means a lot of training through the summer months. Taking water with me and drinking throughout my runs will be something new to me and I’m sure it will be a challenge to make sure I’m staying hydrated. I also won’t be stopping the caffeine fix from my daily coffee intake – I need something to give me a little boost.

Even though this year’s marathon was postponed… you managed to turn it into a real positive raising almost £2,000! How?

When the marathon was postponed and after training for around 12 weeks - my motivation for running hit rock bottom. Nevertheless, it only fuelled my goal for fundraising even more. In April of 2020 I decided to take on the challenge to run 3 half-marathons in 3 days to bump up my fundraising total even more. Day one went better than expected and I managed to finish in a reasonable time and felt ready to take on the second day. By the end of day 3 there was nothing more I wanted than a warm bath and all my guilty food pleasures. It was tough and at times I just felt like giving up but when the country was locked down it was a great way to get out of the house and do something to make a change.

 

Using some of what I’d learnt during my time with RAG I set my mind to raising the £2000 target for SHP for the London Marathon. Fundraising so far has included a lip sync video, ditching the alcohol for a month and letting people choose songs for my marathon playlist if they donate.

 

What advice would you give to anyone thinking about taking on a Challenge to prevent homeless and transform lives?

Taking on a personal challenge itself can be so rewarding but fundraising alongside for an amazing charity brings a different dynamic. The best piece of advice I could give to anyone wanting to take on a challenge is: GO FOR IT!! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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