Jon was part of our lovely marathon team this year and as a late joiner he has been inspiring with his hard work training and fundraising. Jon pledged that if he reached his target by the day of the marathon he would dye his hair purple! He did and fulfilled this pledge. Jon also smashed his PB finishing in an amazing 03:33:43. Here is a heartwarming account of Jon’s marathon experience and we love that Jon was able to tell an sonographer all about the work we do. Thank you so much Jon and your family, Keri, Isobella and Luca for all you support.
We arrived in London after a week in France (booked prior to securing a place in the marathon) so I trained while there, but this was offset by amazing French cheese and bread! The Expo was an amazing experience, I attended it in my EPT t-shirt and since I’d made my fundraising target I’d agreed to dye my hair purple (EPT colours) for the marathon – it resulted in some funny looks on the train and as my hair is normally black, it took some doing to get it bright purple!
The expo was such fun, everyone was so friendly and I was proud to show off my EPT shirt while there – I got registered and the kids had fun raising a few extra pounds with the Virgin Money Giving challenges, dancing, bowling and table football which were good for £5 to your charity each time – the atmosphere was buoyant. Saturday was a rest day before an early start on Sunday to head to Greenwich, with the family heading to Canada Water to watch on at 9 miles and 11 miles.
The first thing that struck me about the morning was the sheer number of runners, all supporting the various charities. It felt good to be supporting a smaller charity and not be among the masses from some of the larger charities, plus it was a very personal decision to run in support of EPT. That said, on the way up to the red start I was stopped by a lady who had spotted my vest and asked if I was running for EPT, wishing me luck for the race, as her husband was also an EPT runner. I even got chatting to a sonographer who wasn’t aware of the work of the EPT, so it was a privilege to be able to explain this to her.
The start was extremely crowded, it took almost 7 minutes to cross the start line – but even as I left the park in Greenwich the relentless support began. It was definitely an advantage being tall, having bright purple hair and having my name on my vest – the cheers and encouragement were completely overwhelming throughout! I’d aimed to try and complete the race in 3 hrs 45 mins but set off quite quickly, thanks to the huge support of the crowd.
There were so many highlights on the way around, and the crowds were 10-15 people deep in some places – Canary Wharf, Embankment and near the finish in particular, however my personal highlight was giving my wife and children a kiss and a hug at 9 miles – it was a lift to see them cheering me on. The going got pretty tough around 22 miles so I had to draw on my reserves, focusing on my generous sponsors who had helped me raise way in excess of my target, and riding on the pride for the charity who helped us so much. It was a relief to be crossing the finish line in 3:33:43, a great achievement for such a fantastic cause.
If you feel inspired and would like to donate to our marathon runners please see Jon and his fellow runners fundraising pages. Thank you so much for your support.