Tackling the Virgin Money London Marathon

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat and, in my case at least, preparation for the 2017 London Marathon is getting underway. 20 weeks and counting…

Virgin Money London MarathonIn April 2017 the Family Holiday Association will have 30 runners taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon; taking on an amazing personal challenge whilst raising funds for the charity. Here one of our runners, Marc Peachey, gives his thoughts on the challenge ahead.

Virgin Money London Marathon

Marc running the Ipswich 10k

My primary reason for taking part in the Virgin Money London marathon is, of course, to raise money for the vital work carried out by the Family Holiday Association. There’s also something of a family connection as my brother-in-law (well, my girlfriend’s brother-in-law. My brother-in-law-in-law?) works for the Family Holiday Association and, as a result, I have an extra insight into, not only the wonderful help and support they provide to families in need of respite from the pressures and struggles of everyday life, but also how extraordinarily hard the staff work to provide that support.

In relation to running, the single factor that most inspired me to run is the disparity between my PB over the distance and what I feel I’m capable of. Over nearly all of the distances I’ve run (although I’ve not taken on an ultra-marathon just yet) my personal best is, in my view, fairly close to the ceiling of my ability – I can run 5k in just under 20 minutes, 10k in just over 40 and a half-marathon in nearly exactly 90, but my marathon time of 3:49 is something of a blot on my copybook. I feel I can run faster and, equipped with the experience of having run one before and having learned from my mistakes – both on the day and in terms of my preparation – I hope that will happen on 23rd April.

Virgin Money London Marathon

Marc has also completed the Vitality 10k

This time around, however, the circumstances couldn’t be more different. My first marathon was on a winding country course through rural Norfolk; it was a rather isolated experience and with only a small number of people taking part, I went a number of miles without seeing another person, runner or spectator. Being among a field of some 35,000 runners lining the Mall and the ongoing support provided by 26.2 miles of crowds will, I hope, provide me with encouragement and incentive to keep going and maintain my pace beyond the dreaded mile 20.

This is the first sponsored marathon I’ve run – I’ve taken part in the Royal Parks Half-Marathon as part of a team but this is the first time I have the responsibility of fundraising on my own. (Between you and I, I’m more daunted by the prospect of raising £1,500 than I am about running 26.2 miles). Social media, so prominent in this day and age, will be my main fundraising tool; Facebook will certainly be seeing a few photos of some family holidays of my own. The fact I’m a child of the 80’s can certainly be seen by both the haircuts and outfits I’m sporting in some of the snaps.

Virgin Money London MarathonMy training has already begun in earnest as I’m running home from work, schedule permitting, twice a week and trying to fit in a longer 10+ mile run at weekends. With Christmas approaching it can be difficult to maintain that routine, but I’m hoping to build a decent base level of fitness before starting afresh in 2017 and building up to close to marathon distance. Any miles under your belt at this stage are grist to the mill. I have a couple of half-marathons lined up for early in the new year including Silverstone, which I’ve run a few times now and can’t recommend highly enough. Hopefully they’ll put me in good stead for a 3 ½ hour finish and some fantastic fundraising for the Family Holiday Association come April.

To support Marc’s fundraising efforts please click here.

The Virgin Money London Marathon has grown to become one of the most popular and largest annual fundraising events in the world. It is also one of the most icon and sought after marathon places anywhere. For information on how to get involved please click here.