I can’t say I was ever a sporty person at school – my best was winning the egg and spoon race at primary school and then third in the 1500 metres at secondary school in 1990.
Certificate for 3rd place at Writhlington Comprehensive in 1990
After school, my running progressed to participating in the Frome Fun Run when I was 14 through to 17. I was due to run a fifth time but had to withdraw due to the flu! My brother, Dave, ran in this event too – and was always a good five to ten minutes in front of me - not something I ever envisaged changing when we got older. My best ever time was an impressive 38:02 in 1991. I was still doing this kind of pace in 2006, but can now run 20 miles at a faster average pace.
Frome Fun Run Certificate 1991
I had sort of thought “one day I’d like to run the London Marathon” – you know – like something to do during my lifetime! But I didn’t really think much more about it than it being a vague idea for “one day”, until a friend, Ray Warren took part in the London Marathon in 1996, in aid of NCH (Now Action for Children). Ray, and his wife, Jill, are very good friends and I thought it was great that Ray was taking part – especially as he was a little older than I was for my first Marathon! (Fifty something is all I’ll say!). Ray ran again in 2000, but damaged his knee meaning he’s not run a Marathon since but was persuaded out of retirement by me in 2011.
Jill & Ray Warren - Ray helped inspire me to run the marathon in the first place
Ray running the Bath Half Marathon in 2011 as part of me marking ten years of my first marathon
Ray’s entry encouraged me to do more than think about it and I actually applied for London. I first applied for the 1997 London Marathon, but was unsuccessful. Instead, I have a T-shirt saying “Official reject” as a momentum of that occasion! I also found my new found motivation to go for a weekly run quickly wore off!
I reapplied for 1998 and 2000, but continued to be unsuccessful. However, in 2000, I attended an event called P2K – Pentecost 2000 at Cheltenham Racecourse. The event was a Christian event celebrating the Millennium and, the key speaker at the main worship of the day, Dr Daleep Mukarji, Director of Christian Aid, spoke, in particular, about the work of Christian Aid. During this I felt inspired to go to the Christian Aid tent and see if they had places in the London Marathon so I could offer to run for them and raise funds for their excellent work
To find out more about 2001 and 2002’s races, please follow the links. After 2002 I had a year as a spectator, when Dave ran, but 2004 onwards have just become more like run frenzy’s!
I have been particularly inspired by Paula Radcliffe - who I eventually saw running the London Marathon in 2005 - and look forward to the day she wins an Olympic Gold!
Throughout all this, I wouldn't have had the motivation if I hadn't had the support, encouragement, prayers and sponsorship from so many people. A big thank you especially to all my family, friends and colleagues.
Whilst I enjoy the experience of the Marathon, it’s also about the fundraising and I’m delighted that my efforts have seen in excess of over nearly £35,000 being raised for Christian Aid, NCH – The Children’s Charity (now Action for Children), Methodist Relief & Development Fund (MRDF), Diabetes UK, CLIC Sargent, Research Institue for Care of the Elderley (RICE), Cytsic Fibrosis Trust and LAM Action prior to 2014
Please follow the links for details of each run year and the respective charities and thank you for visiting the site
By the end of 2000 Christian Aid had signed me up for their team in 2001’s London Marathon. Reality suddenly hit that I best get running regularly if I was to actually complete the course – the furthest I’d ever run up until then was around ten/eleven miles in Bristol, when I first applied for the 1997 Marathon. However, I’d never got further than about two/three miles since that brief moment of enthusiasm. No one had ever told me it wasn’t guaranteed to get into London on the first, second or third attempt! (In fact 2006 was the first time I ever got into London through the Ballot system)
2001’s London Marathon was only ever supposed to be to fulfil that ambition and not supposed to be the start of an unexpected addiction! I even vowed “never again” after finishing – famous last words! By 2002, my brother, Dave, had decided to give it a try and, because he got in through the ballot first time, asked me to have his guaranteed place Christian Aid had offered him. I said yes and was back in training. I also had the privilege of meeting Daleep Mukarji on the eve of the 2002 Marathon – and made a point of making him aware I held him responsible for having got myself into the situation!
With Daleep Mukarji on the eve of The London Marathon 2002