I run with a smile on my face because I find it easier
I’m starting to feel like a regular resident here at Alzheimer’s Research UK! For those of you who have been following my story so far, I hope I’ve provided some inspiration or at least a quick break. For those who are less familiar, my name’s Clinton and I work for Schroders Personal Wealth, a partner of the charity. I signed up to run two marathons to raise crucial funds for dementia research. Catch up on my journey so far.
I recently ran the Brighton and Virgin Money London Marathon within three weeks of each other, and I feel extremely proud to have risen to the challenge for a good cause! The first thing people ask me is what time I made – Brighton was 4 hours 40, and London was 4 hours 20. Initially, I was disappointed with my time as my training indicated I could achieve sub 4 hours. But with obstacles like heat playing a part on each day, I was glad I sensibly slowed it down a notch and enjoyed (most of) it.
I then get the famous “did you hit a wall?” question. The short answer is yes, but not during the race itself! Although I got some serious leg cramps at mile 22 (thanks to running Brighton just a few weeks prior), the real challenge was the immense amount of training in the run-up. Juggling race preparation around family and work commitments was also pretty tough but they were the ones who pushed me through that wall.
I experienced so many highs during both races, some I hope never to forget. London had an infectious party atmosphere which spread to the runners, and even St Johns’ ambulance staff. After running off the leg cramps I hit earlier, the sun was shining, and Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ started playing over the speakers. Everyone started singing together, me, the runners and the crowd were all singing along. It was buzzing!
There is no right or wrong way to start running. Be it alone, with friends or as part of a club like Parkrun, follow whatever makes you enjoy it. I run with a smile on my face because I find it easier. My advice to anyone thinking of applying for a place in a marathon next year would be to go for it! I believe most people can train for and finish a marathon. By running for a cause like Alzheimer’s Research UK, you’re a part of a wider team who will offer guidance and you’ll get to share goals, the highs and of course, the lows. Whatever your starting position, there is a training plan for you. But remember – the training plan is important. If you follow it, you’ll feel confident come race day.
Although I found my experiences to be generally great fun, the reason I put myself forward for the challenge hasn’t been forgotten. Just as many families in the UK, my family has been impacted by dementia. The work currently being done to treat and cure dementia is absolutely necessary, but researchers can’t do it without us. Raising both funds and awareness helps Alzheimer’s Research UK fund groundbreaking dementia research which will one day change the lives of those living with dementia, and future generations to come. Although my wife’s family have been impacted by a form which cannot currently be treated, we can reduce our risk of developing dementia by living a healthier and balanced lifestyle. This gives me hope for future generations to come.
Eventually, I hope to see a viable cure or treatment for dementia that can help society take action to prevent it. In many ways it would be wonderful if charities didn’t need to exist to raise much-needed funds. I feel we’re not too far from that future place, and we need to get over the line.
I ran through every type of weather, pain, illness, and even government restrictions (legally) to raise £3,000 for life-changing research. Many of my friends, family and colleagues have been very generous and I have raised over half my target (currently sitting at £2,375) but I am yet to reach my goal. I encourage anyone reading to consider donating what they can to support the essential work of Alzheimer’s Research UK so that one day, we can find a cure. Thank you.
My JustGiving has remained open, if you would like to donate you can do so, here: Clinton Page is fundraising for Alzheimer’s Research UK (justgiving.com)
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