Why have you decided to run London Marathon this year?
I’ve been running marathons for a few years but I really wanted to take part in the London Marathon in the hopes of raising money to support the RFU Injured Players Foundation (IPF).
Can you tell us a bit more about the IPF?
It’s a great initiative that supports & protects rugby players and their family. They provide support to any player who sustains a catastrophic spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury while playing the game, and they fund vital injury prevention research to keep everyone safer on the field.
Why was supporting this cause important to you?
Being an ex-player, and subsequently spending 15 years volunteering as my club’s treasurer, I have witnessed first-hand the great work that IPF carry out when something goes wrong on the pitch.
Namely, when two young players I knew unfortunately received life changing injuries whilst playing the sport they love. The foundation may not have been able to reverse their injuries, but they stepped in at a moment’s notice to provide financial and emotional support. Support that really made a huge difference at an otherwise very difficult time; right down to helping the lads see past their injuries and map out what their futures might now look like.
How’s your fundraising going so far?
Well, I’m delighted to say that at nearly half way through my fundraising effort, we’re sitting at just over £7,000! That’s just over 90% of my £8,000 target.
I’ve been blown away by people’s generosity and am (quietly) confident that we’ll meet the target in time!
I’m told you’ve started a gruelling training regime. What has this consisted of?
Each Saturday, for training, I run 10k in the morning (or referee a school match), referee a match in the afternoon, then run a further 5k round the pitch.
So far, all in all, I have refereed over 50 games, gone on 75 runs and covered over 1200km. All I can say is; roll on April :)
I also ran the Venice Marathon back in October last year as a bit of a practice – however, thanks to the city flooding it was maybe more of an ankle deep splash to the finish line rather than the photo finish I had hoped for! Good fun though.
I’m not sure whether this is a good idea or not but I have just cut out one of the long runs from my training plan and entered the Manchester Marathon instead, 3 weeks before London.
If you want to know follow John’s story, or just find out a bit more, you can visit his Just Giving page where he provides regular updates on his progress.
Good luck John!