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I've no idea how I managed to talk myself into doing this year's London Marathon, let alone any marathon, a mere 23 years after the last one (coincidentally London), and how none of my friends have tried to talk me out of it. Anyway, that's between me and my shrink but I've a place - 18913 - and I'll be a the start line on April 25th come hell or high water ( the hell is pretty much assured!)
However, I was deeply inspired by the efforts of my friend Bruce and a couple of his colleagues who undertook the mammoth Land's End - John O' Groats bike ride last year. They were riding for Bruce's best friend, and colleague Paul who died from cancer in 2009. Paul had received valuable treatment and support from a lesser known cancer charity, The Cancer Thermal Ablation Fund (run under the umbrella of University London College Hospitals). The CTAF is trying to promote awareness for a form of cancer treatment, thermal ablation, that is relatively little known at this point but has been accepted as a form of treatment by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE). Their website www.rfablation.co.uk offers much more information on their excellent work.
Because I applied to run London as an individual, I do not have the pressure of any set fundraining targets to meet. I do quite like the round figure of £1000 though and I don't think it will be too onerous a task to raise at least this amount. However, I fully appreciate that we are all living in straitened times, demands on personal budgets are severe in many cases and people can't dig any deeper. I'll basically take whatever anybody feels they can afford and be very grateful for it and you can be confident that 100% of what I raise will go to CTAF.
One idea I've had is to give the opportunity for individuals/companies/groups to sponsor a mile. The way this would work is that for a minimum donation of £50 you can have a mile nominated for yourself. For example, I will be sponsoring myself for 3 of the 26 miles and have blocked these off. Mile 1 is for my daughter Zoe, Mile 13 for my cherished Aunty Jean who died last year and Mile 26 for my dear Mum who also died last last year. Close friends have already indicated they want to sponsor me for Miles 21 and 23 as they are auspicious dates for them. But, as I said, this is not for everyone but just an option for those that feel they could stretch this far. I'll update the mile sponsorships as and when I receive them but at the moment here's what's already spoken for
Mile 1 : Zoe
Mile 4 : Anne Bishop
Mile 10 : Hal and May Milroy
Mile 13 : Aunty Jean
Mile 21 : Abbey
Mile 23 : Paul/Bruce
Mile 26 : Mum
That's £350 right there so hopefully the £1000 is achievable!
I've set up a Facebook page which you can search for under Gordon P London Marathon. I'll endeavour to post on the page everyday and update those of you who are interested on my training, musings on this daft idea and fundraising efforts leading up to D-Day. As I write it's T minus 66 days and counting. Gulp.
If you see a bedraggled figure out on the road over the next couple of months, be sure you'd put a spring in his step by chucking a few bob his way on this page.
"Pain is temporary. Quitting is final" Lance Armstrong