Max Titmuss

Max's Great Wall Fencing Kit Marathon

Fundraising for Ataxia UK
raised of £2,000 target
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
In memory of Alice Butler
Ataxia UK

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1102391
We fund research and support services to help all those affected by ataxia


The Plan

The basic plan is as follows: turn up at the Great Wall on 1 May 2019 in my Leon Paul Apex kit and run a full 42km marathon. In the course of doing so, we can raise some money for charity. What could be easier? 

The Backstory

One evening in a dank, seedy, liquor-soaked Beijing boozer, I talked myself into something daft.

Across the table sat my friend, boasting of his recent marathon triumph. To try and deflate him a bit I claimed that running a marathon was ‘easy’ and 'for wimps'. I may have even said 'anyone can do it - I could probably do it in my fencing kit'. Instantly seeing I was full of it, he called my bluff: there was a marathon just on the horizon, "why don't you run it with me?", he asked.

"It's in May and it's on the Great Wall," he continued. Sheepishly I asked: "On the Great Wall? Isn’t that really hilly?”, hoping he would tell me it was on a different, flatter, but nonetheless-still-pretty-great wall somewhere else in China. “Yes, that’s the one. Would you like to sign up now online?”

And so here I am, destined to run a marathon (which I have never done) on the Great Wall of China (which is quite long and hilly) in my fencing kit (just daft).

Yet with your help I am hoping to turn this uncomfortable experience into something worthwhile: to help a charity which does valuable work for people suffering from the neurological condition Ataxia.

The Kit

I will be wearing my Leon Paul Apex jacket and breeches. Initially I thought of wearing a full kit, but given that it is likely to be in the mid-20s I decided against it, even if it provides less protection against marauding Mongols.

The Charity

Ataxia - a progressive neurological condition - took the life of my cousin, Alice, when she was only 2 years old and now affects her father, my uncle George. Ataxia UK helps provide assistance for those who have the condition and provides research money for potential treatments and cures.

Many people are not aware of the condition, but it deeply affects the lives of those who have it and those close to them. I hope that through this fundraising we can help both raise awareness of the condition and provide help for those affected by it. 

I would be forever grateful if you could donate to this page. Whatever you feel you can afford would mean the world to me.

My Cousin

Alice was born on bonfire night in 1993 and the event was celebrated with firework displays across the country. She was the youngest of her grandparents' seven grandchildren and was a gentle, unassuming little girl who enjoyed all the noise and activity surrounding her as she took her place in the large extended family. Ataxia began to affect her when she was 18 months old. One of the effects of Ataxia is sight loss and Alice became blind and gradually regressed to being like an infant again, dying a year later.  

The Condition

Ataxia is a degenerative disease of the nervous system. Many symptoms of Ataxia can mimic those of being drunk – slurred speech, stumbling, falling, and incoordination. All are related to degeneration of the part of the brain, called the cerebellum, that is responsible for coordinating movement. Ataxia is a disease that affects people of all ages. Age of symptom-onset can vary widely, from childhood to late-adulthood. Complications from the disease are serious, oftentimes debilitating, and can be life-shortening.


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About the charity

Ataxia UK

Verified by JustGiving

RCN 1102391
10,500 people in the UK have ataxia which is a progressive neurological condition that disrupts the messages sent from our brains to our muscles that are used to move, speak, listen and see. Ataxia UK funds research into finding treatments and a cure and provide support until they are found.

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