Rob’s London Marathon challenge

Robert Boland London Marathon 2018I can’t quite believe I am only 15 weeks away from this major achievement. Had you asked me 5 years ago I would have said never to a marathon, never mind the London Marathon! But after dalliances with Triathlons, Bikes and shorter distances, the challenge of completing the marathon seemed to find me.

I have been a runner for a couple of years now since joining my local running club ‘The Badgers’. Despite my massive improvements and races I still, until maybe April 2016, had no interest in running a marathon. It probably came from seeing the inspiring club mates of mine achieve their marathon targets and I felt I had to be part of this.

My aim is twofold; 1. Complete the London Marathon 2. Sub 4 Hours. I only plan one shot at this. Ha ha.

So why did I choose the Family Holiday Association?

If I’m honest I had very little prior knowledge until my London Marathon rejection letter came. I toyed with not running but I always said if I had a place I would run for a charity as I believe in trying to give something positive back. When doing my research, the Family Holiday Association just stuck out from the others. I simply thought what a wonderful cause.

I have a friend who I have watched and admired as she has raised a little boy with Muscular Dystrophy since he was about 5 years old. As always, his condition has worsened and as a family they struggle to do things and enjoy the life a 12-year-old boy should. He is now severely disabled and relies on constant support. This can be detrimental to his younger sister and brother as mobility and social issues can get in their way. I would have loved to have known sooner about the work of this charity and would have nominated my friend for their support. I have a 3-year-old boy James and 1-year old boy Harry and we are fortunate to be able to treat them to days out and holidays, and to deprive children of this simple pleasure feels horrible to me when things can be done to help.

By running the London Marathon, I hope I can raise some money but perhaps more importantly promote the work of the charity and show people there is help for families in need of a simple break/day out.

So how am I fundraising?

Robert Boland London Marathon 2018In terms of fundraising, I set up a Virgin Money Giving page shortly after my place was confirmed and have shared the link to family and friends who have been great at donating early on. I am also in the midst of organising a charity fundraising night at the end of this month, with musical acts, a raffle and auction, cake sale, and face painting for children. I’ve got some great prizes lined up for the raffle and auction and I started the ticket sales at the beginning of the year – dare I say that everything is running smoothly!

And how’s the London Marathon training going?

Well nervously, I am currently on track. I would naturally have liked to have done more, but I’m slightly ahead of where I had imagined being back at the start of the process. I started loosely training in November (Had been an Achilles heel to me in previous years), starting lightly I just made sure I was competently trying to run between 15-20 miles a week over 3 or 4 runs, I actually set a few great times in 5k and 10k races, very unintentional. December saw me achieve over 100 miles in the month despite issues with coughs, colds and treacherous weather. I even resorted to the treadmill of doom. 9 weeks of pre-plan training complete and now into my formal 16 week plan which will see more structure and hopefully the desired sub 4 hour time.

Roll on London!