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Brighton, England

I’m running a marathon (and a half)

Towards the ultimate goal

I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. Being of sound mind, I thought it probably best to compete in a smaller event first, so I entered the Great North Run (the world’s largest half marathon) in 2003. Perhaps compete is the wrong word. Whilst most people take running seriously, the real aim of mass participatory running events like this is to have fun whilst raising lots of money for good causes at the same time.

That first event was a real eye opener. The support I got from spectators lining the route was infectious, and it encouraged me to enter more races. Yet, stupidly, I never properly trained and ended up walking the later stages of each race (the Great Manchester Run in 2005 was a rare exception). With no sign of increased performance or fitness – unsurprising given the lack of any training – I stopped entering races and gave up on any ideas of running a marathon.

The desire to keep fit never relented however (nor did the need to win Nike+ challenges against Kyle) so I started running purely for pleasure. The absence of any races allowed me to focus on the act of running itself. Now, each year sees me complete more miles than the last, with pace and distances covered forever increasing. Curious to see if I could translate this into race fitness, I entered last year’s Brighton Half Marathon. To my surprise I ran the full distance! Finally achieving this goal was truly satisfying.

I now run what were once challenging distances (5k, 10k) with little thought or difficulty. I’m lighter, (a little bit) leaner, and possibly even a bit faster. If I’m ever to achieve my dream of running a marathon, then this is the year to do it. An Olympic year too.

With that in mind, I’ve entered this year’s Brighton Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 15th April.

I need your help

I started training a little before Christmas, and have been ramping it up further in the last few weeks. Last weekend (after some advice and inspirational talks at an official race training seminar) I ran 8.3 miles. I could have gone even further. This is good to know, especially as I’ve entered next month’s Brighton Half Marathon as well, where I’m hoping to improve on last years result.

I’ll be running the marathon in aid of Action for Children. As a charity I’ve supported for many years, I’m really excited to be part of their running team. For those who don’t know, Action for Children (previously known as NCH) speak out for vulnerable and neglected children, young people and families in the UK, and help them reach their full potential.

I’ve pledged to raise £500, but I want to do much better than that – especially as Clearleft will be matching all donations made! Running for charity is not only good karma, but also a great way to keep motivated during long training sessions, and on the big day. So, I need your help. Every pound raised will make each stride on the way to that distant finish line worthwhile. Please, dig deep, and support me as I attempt to complete this year’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal!

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