As a child, I would always look forward to that weekend in Spring when the London Marathon was taking place and would sit in anticipation to see the runners on the television.
I loved listening to the participants all being interviewed and hearing their inspirational stories about why they were running and raising money for their specific charities.
This made me say to my family, every year, that one day I would run the London Marathon for a worthwhile charity.
I had heard of Tŷ Hafan before but never really knew exactly what they did and who they helped, until a very good friend of mine, Ian, required their services.
Ian and his wife Hannah welcomed their first born daughter, the beautiful Alice into the world. Unfortunately, Alice was born with a disability called Hydranencephaly, which means she needs 24 hour care. Initially, they were unsure how this disability would affect Alice’s life, but she has proved everybody wrong – showing her strength and determination in developing herself over the last two years.
Tŷ Hafan has been so good with Alice, her family and friends over the first two years of Alice’s life offering their care and support. I want to personally thank them for the work they do day-in-day-out to allow Alice, and life-limited children like her, to lead fulfilled and happy life. This is why I have applied for one of Tŷ Hafan’s prestigious Gold Bond places for the Virgin London Marathon 2016, in the hope that I can represent the charity next Spring and contribute to the £3.7million they require each year to provide free care to children in Wales.
My plan is to set up an online fundraising page with VirginMoneyGiving so people can donate to Tŷ Hafan at the press of a button. I will be organising a virtual horse racing night which will include a raffle and an auction, to help get as much money as possible for this wonderful charity.
Training for a marathon is hard work and takes a lot of dedication and commitment, especially in the winter months when it’s freezing cold, wet, windy and possibly snowing. The last thing you want to do is go outside running, but you just have to remind yourself what you are doing it for, get on your kit, pull on your trainers and get outside that door.
In preparation for the big day, I am also running the Cardiff Half Marathon in October, the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships (with the non professionals of course) and the Cardiff Marathon in March, and the Brighton Marathon in April.
I’ve run a marathon before and will use the same training schedule. I would do three runs a week, usually two midweek on a Tuesday and Thursday, one at a quick pace between 7-9 miles and the other the same distance but slower, with some hills and inclines in order to strengthen your legs. The third run of the week takes place on the weekend this is your long slow run (LSR). A LSR will need to increase by about 10% mileage every weekend until you’re up to about 20 miles 2/3 weeks before the event, then you can taper and let your body recover before the big day.
To be in with a chance, simply complete our 2016 Virgin London Marathon Gold Bond application form with your reasons for wanting to run for Tŷ Hafan. We will announce who has been selected as one of our Tŷ Hafan charity runners in September.