Meet Our 2017 Marathon Runners

Marc

Age 43zzz.PNG
I've wanted to run The London Marathon for many years, I was even more inspired last year when a friend of mine completed it and told me all his stories associated with it. 

My friend Victoria is the founder of the Ability Bow so I have good knowledge of how the charity makes a difference to peoples lives. I also wanted to do my own body some good, and I thought the combination of that and doing well for others is motivation in itself. In summary, it is always easy not to bother or find reasons not to do it, but to raise money for people less fortunate than myself, it feels great and means a great deal.

I have made my campaign personal by involving my family – wife and children – the kids have baked cakes to sell, I have spread the word and networked inside and outside work, and my wife has helped with my training, logistics and total campaign management. There have been some lows in training of course - the weather during the long dark winter months was pretty grim – and it was hard to maintain 100% focus at times. Time was a big hurdle too, but I successfully managed to work to a scheduled running plan.

The encouragement from others at what a marvellous feat I shall encounter on the day spurs me on ; the expectation and adrenaline rush I imagine on the day. To know I will be part of such an amazing event that not everyone has experienced is really something to look forward to . I expect the day to be amazing for various reasons, one of which being the thrill and proud satisfaction I can keep forever afterwards. 

My fundraising target is £1,350 and I need just a few more hundred to get there !

My virgin just giving page is…..http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=marchouse

 

Sarit

Age 49sarit pic.jpg

I  am a local GP in Wapping- St Katharine Docks Practice and decided to apply to run for Ability Bow as it is the only gym for those with disabilities in Tower Hamlets and is under pressure due to lack of funding. As I have worked in Tower Hamlets for the past 22 years I wanted to contribute something back to the Borough.

 

My partner found the CRunCH website linking runners with charities where we saw Ability Bow was listed , and as I have worked in Tower Hamlets for the past 22 years I decided to contribute something back to a charity in the borough. 

Although I usually go to watch the race with my children each year it will be my first marathon taking part and I am really excited to actually be running (as are they though i'm not sure how they'll react to me running/crawling past them!) I know the atmosphere of the day and the crowd will get me round.

I love running as it gives a sense of space and freedom and take in the sights of the city at different times of the day and year and I can listen to entire albums without being disturbed!  I've been running for a long time but getting enough training in mixed with work and family life has been really hard especially with a few niggles! I do hope I won't let your team down.

Please support Sarit on his fundraising mission for our gym, every donation of any size makes a real difference 

 

Lloyd 1077808_10153028982375615_790808639_o.jpg

Age 36

Running the London Marathon has been on my bucket list for years, but I had a serious ankle injury in 2014 and so that set me back in terms of entering along with not getting through in the various ballots when I did apply. In September I finally felt strong enough again to attempt it so decided to go for it. 

In 2014 I tore all the ligaments in my right ankle and was unable to exercise properly for a year. I eventually had an operation to reconstruct one of the ligaments pinning it directly into the bone. I was on crutches for 3 months and went through a long rehabilitation process over the course of a year before I started running again.

I fully understand how fortunate we are to be able to exercise after this experience and value greatly the type of work that Ability Bow does for people who are less fortunate than us. Ability bow has such a great impact on so many lives. I also wanted to ensure I ran for a charity that would see a real benefit from the fundraising taking place. 

Before my injury I ran the Manchester marathon, I was scheduled to run Liverpool marathon but tore the ligaments the week before. Training is tough. All was going well pre-Christmas and then the night of the tube strikes I decided to run home in the torrential rain. Feeling confident in a planned 16km run I hit a puddle at kilometre 1. So innocuous looking, sitting in the middle of the pavement, it turned out to be a pothole and I ended up partially tearing the ligament near to the original operation site causing extensive swelling and bruising. It looked like I was out. A few days of misery then followed with a determined outlook and after I was given the all clear in terms of potential damage, two weeks later I pulled out the old physio bands and went back over the rehabilitation process from my original operation. Luckily I managed to start training again within 5 weeks and so I am now on a intensive training regime to try and get fit enough to post a decent time.

I'm looking forward to the noises and the sites of race day . I love running around London as you see more in one day than you might in a week long holiday otherwise. Plus the noise of the crowd and the feel good atmosphere of any running always gives me so much energy.... I just hope I avoid the dreaded "wall"  

You can sponsor Lloyd here and help him on his way to raising £1350 for our gym !! 
 

 

Pete

Age 33 Markfield 10k (1).jpg

I began running in the summer of 2011 and joined a local club early on in my running career. I have always stayed active through mountain biking, but took up running initially to have something to do on weekday evenings after work and to meet new people. After about 3 years of entering races up to Half Marathon distance on limited training, I decided to up my mileage and take it a little more seriously. I have now completed 6 Half Marathons and have seen my times tumble from 1:34 to 1:23. I have a target to get a sub 1:20 Half Marathon this year, but I’ve had a long held desire to run a Marathon, particularly London.

When my girlfriend Lisa got a ballot place in the London Marathon it gave me the motivation to look for a charity place. I chose Ability Bow for 2 reasons. Firstly I was very impressed by the way Ability Bow changes the lives of people who would otherwise have difficulty with day-to-day life. Secondly, I felt that I’d rather support a smaller charity that would have limited opportunities to raise funds.

I’ve had to be inventive in my fundraising, with about half of the money raised so far coming from a Christmas party raffle and a Valentines day raffle. Lisa has been a huge support in my fundraising efforts, making Christmas decorations and cards to sell, as she is handier than me at crafts!

My training was going very well until my knee stiffened just 3 miles into my first 20 mile run just before Christmas. I completed the run (not advised!). In early January at the Leicestershire County cross country championship race my knee injury got a lot worse, so I had to visit a physio a few times and limit my running to very short and easy runs – not ideal! From February, I started upping my mileage again up to the point on the 19th of March when I completed a 20 mile race including a 2 mile warm up and a 3 mile cool down, getting a total of 25 miles. This has massively increased my confidence going into the Marathon! I have a target to run the marathon in under 3 hours, although the lack of training in January has made that a harder challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing London in a new way, running past its iconic sights on closed roads! I know the atmosphere will be like nothing else I’ve experienced!

If you would like to support Pete's fundraising you can sponsor him here 

Keval 

Age 41 image1.JPG
 

Hi.  I’m Keval and I’m 41 years old.  I’ve been a runner for the last 7 years and for 5 of those, I’ve been entering the ballot for the London Marathon without success.  As a Londoner who runs, there is an allure with the marathon that is hard to resist, especially having watched on television and cheered on friends and family in the past.  I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere around the whole course and the support at Tower Bridge in particular.   I have run one marathon previously, at Edinburgh in 2014 (and swore I’d never do it again), but after being advised not to run long distances any more due to ongoing back problems, I decided that there could be no better way to follow the surgeon’s advice by running both London and Brighton this year, two weeks apart.

After failing in the ballot again for this year’s London Marathon , I discovered the CRunCH website and read that Ability Bow were looking for runners.  As they are based locally to my work I was drawn to them immediately and when I read about the amazing work they do in the community, with the help they provide to people who realy need it, I had to apply to run for them. 

Training has been tough as I’ve had to juggle various family commitments, busy work schedule and recovering from a sprained ankle before Christmas, alongside the back issues.  However, I have just completed a 16 mile run which should stand me in good stead.   The Brighton marathon will be a full-length training run so I should be in a position to give the London marathon my absolute best.

I have been blogging about my progress intermittently at https://kevalsmarathonmadness.wordpress.com/

If you wish to sponsor Keval you can do so here , all donations really do count. 

 
Baz
Age 48 
 
Baz at finish line LM
I had entered the ballot for the London Marathon every year since 2006 after losing my brother to epilepsy. I finally got a ballot place last year. I chose then to run for charity and in particular epilepsy research and action. I also chose SARCOMA UK after a work colleague lost his 28 year old son to that particularly harsh form of cancer. I enjoyed the atmosphere and whole event so much I forgot to concentrate on my running and must have high fived just about everyone I could,  danced to a steel band at around 18 miles and clapped the crowd all the way through Cutty Sark ! 
I finished in 5:00:16 So I decided this year to give it another go and although I will soak up the atmosphere I will be running a little more seriously. Well maybe ;) 
  I chose Ability Bow because I think that smaller charities are often overlooked.
Also I drink with a few people in Saffron Walden Essex from the East End,  in particular Dennis Stratton (ex Iron Maiden and Remus Down Boulevard) and Cliff Parisi (Eastenders and Call the Midwife) so I thought it would be nice to raise some money for people in their old manor. 
 My previous experience has been in the Military March and Shoots , The Dancon March in the Truros mountains in Cyprus,  half marathons,109 races and the 2016 London Marathon.  
Training has been much better this time around due to the fact I've lost 4 stone since I stated running again in October 2015. I feel more confident, fitter and stronger , I've been mixing up running with strength training. The only low point had been this last week having a cough and a niggling knee injury which has now cleared up. 
 
I'm really looking forward to being a part of the great atmosphere and raising money and awareness for Ability Bow . It's such an iconic race and well worth the effort. 

 

If you would like to help Baz reach his £1350 target you can donate here , however big or small , every penny really does count. 

 

Dominika 

Age 36 dominika.JPG

My name is Dominika I'm 36,  I'm a beauty salon owner based in West Sussex , I’ve been living in the U.K since 2007. I always wanted to run a Marathon and for the last few years it has become one of my things from my before I turn 40 list ! Through my life I’ve been struggling a lot with been severely overweight. In the last few years I’ve lost a lot of spare kilograms . I am now finally enjoying being active and being able to run, and in the next 18 months I'm getting married so that gives me even more motivation to stay fit and in shape . I'm completely new to running long distances, I find training very enjoyable but very difficult on long days when I need to achieve long distances and I'm out for 3 hours

All my clients who have been a part of the London Marathon are telling me how amazing the atmosphere is there and what a fantastic experience it is, so I am excited to be a London Marathon runner !

If you would like to donate to Dominika's fundraising for Ability Bow please click here , any size donation is truly appreciated ! 

Niki 

Age 4710580050_10153328545415723_4629151629573759499_n.jpg

I have had very strong ties with Bow for about twenty years but the main reason for running for Ability Bow is that one of my closest friends uses the service and is in fact on the board of trustees.   I met Nic when I moved into a new flat about 13 years ago. She lives in the same block and is a daily inspiration to me even now. She has MS and her life is about as challenging as it could be. She is one of the strongest people I have ever met and is such a good friend to me despite the difficulties she faces on a daily or even hourly basis. Anything I can do to show my support and love I will try and do it. I have in the past done events for the MS Society but this feels more direct and I know,I mean I have seen with my own eyes, the impact Ability Bow has on someone's life so I would like think I will continue to support the charity after the marathon if I can.

I started running when I was about 44 or so after a lifetime of not believing running was something I could ever do. I had cycled and swum a lot and did feel like I was reasonably fit but it was an old friend who convinced me I ought to have a go as she had also come to it late a year or so before me. I have done two half marathon events (although also have done a few half marathon distances in my training now!) the last one being the half in the Palestine Marathon last year. This is my first (and last) marathon although I did say only very recently I would never ever attempt a marathon and yet here we are so who knows.

I had found training really great up until a couple of weeks ago - not easy but enjoyable and achievable. The last week or so I have been struggling a little and am not sure why - it could be not enough sleep, hydration or maybe nutrition so I need to have a look at all of those things. As I am so far in though it's great as I am determined to get past it whereas maybe if it had been early on I would lose my nerve. I had no idea how much time it would take up - on top of the running I mean - my week is totally taken over by it as well as my thought processes - everything is about running at the moment. I have been avoiding alcohol since New Year and thinking about nutrition more than I ever would so it’s all been an amazing experience. 
The London Marathon is an iconic one isn't it , I know it will be an amazing day and a wonderful feeling to be part of such an iconic event but all I want to do is run as much of the route as possible, not collapse and not be the last person over the line! Everything above that is a bonus. I’m looking forward to the end and being able to have a big drink!
 

You can sponsor Niki here and help her towards her £1350 target 

Tracey image1 (1).JPG

Age 54

I've chosen to run the London Marathon to push myself and have a running goal to head towards. I've been quite seriously running since 2013, it started with Parkrun, Run Hackney and then last year I did the Brighton Marathon. I find running to be really helpful for mind and body. The Marathon runs right past my front door, I always support and enjoy the spectacle, it's time this year to be on the receiving end of jelly babies and oranges!

It's good to push and see what you can achieve. I had hoped to run faster but suffered an injury; my training was going great until January when I suddenly developed plantar fasciitis, a horrid heel pain, which needs rest, since then its become just  about fund-raising, getting round and enjoying a great sporting event.  I've been slowly building up mileage and am confident that can do it, if slowly and painfully!

 I love running, and am so proud and privileged to be able to raise funds for an amazing local charity. It is easy to take health and physical ability for granted.

I chose to run for Ability Bow because I wanted to support a small, local charity and I know about Ability Bow from attending St Paul's church, and hearing all about it from Brian and other service users, who only have good things to say about it. I know that it is like other small charities facing challenges and it is nice to be able to support in this way.

I'm really looking forward to running on home turf. I think for me the best thing about running the VLM is to be part of such a huge fundraising event and to see the crowd and I know with their support I will get round smiling.

To support Tracey in her fundraising mission you can donate here