Jane McNeice

Jane's London Marathon 2022

Fundraising for National Autistic Society
raised of £2,200 target
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Event: London Marathon 2022, on 2 October 2022
National Autistic Society

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 269425
We provide support, services and advice to help autistic people and their families


Many of my followers will be aware that I ran the 2021 London Marathon. You may or may not be aware that I ran the 'virtual' marathon in 2021. This was amazing and made me very proud, but there was a part of me that felt I missed out on the iconic London Marathon finish line, and I missed out on meeting the rest of Team Autism and all the experiences they were sharing at the time.

So why then did I choose to do it 'virtually'? I did it virtually because I am an Autistic person who 'socially masks' (mimicking neurotypical to feel we fit in and to survive in a world not created with us in mind).

I was late diagnosed Austistic on 21st June 2021 at the age of 45, along with my 26 year old daughter who was late diagnosed on 8th September, and my 8 year old son who was diagnosed on 2nd December 2021. 

When I find myself in group situations, I automatically start to mask to cope. I have engineered my masks over a very long time, and I have many. For those of you familiar with Autistic masking, you will know that for those  who mask, it is totally exhausting. Autistic people who mask often suffer the mental health consequences of doing so - myself included - and very often we are tired. Think about that then in the context of running, and you will understand my reasons for running 'virtually' (solo). I do not mask when I am alone, and I need all the energy I have when I am running. It is extremely difficult to mask and run at the same time, near impossible.

So, with that in mind, this year is going to be a big ask, to run in one of the largest known group events, and to do so 'down-masked', or to do so while 'masked'. One or the other. This year will be much more difficult for me, but just like living for 45 years as an undiagnosed Austistic, not totally impossible, just hard. 

What this means for my supporters on the day is that I may be non-verbal, I may not reciprocate the waves of support, and I may show little eye contact or engagement with the crowds. But that does NOT mean I am not greatful for the support. I really am!!! I will still know you are there, I am not being rude, anti-social, or aloof. I am simply inside my head where I am safe when amongst people, zoned out, so that my effort can be directed totally at the running. All 26.2 mile of it. Afterwards I will be able to engage more easily in the way that I usually do. 

I cannot believe I am doing this twice!! I am grateful for the National Autistic Society for inviting me to be part of their team, and I will give it the same determination and grit that has allowed me to survive as an Austic person.

Come on people, get behind me and my family, and every other diagnosed and undiagnosed (still searching, and likely suffering) Autistic person who is out there.


About the charity

National Autistic Society

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 269425
The National Autistic Society is here to transform lives, change attitudes and create a society that works for autistic people. There is still so much to do to increase opportunities, reduce social isolation and build a brighter future for autistic people. With your help, we can make it happen.

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