There are now only 20 days until the London Marathon and weâ€™re lucky to have 31 intrepid runners who are taking on the 26.2-mile course for us. What inspired them to run for our charity and whatâ€™s the secret to marathon success? Weâ€™ll be showcasing some of their stories all the way up to race day.
Restaurant owner Charles Chamberlain is travelling all the way from his home in North Vancouver, Canada, to take part in the marathon for us. Amazingly, the 71-year-old had never run before he started training last year.
Charles is travelling all the way from Canada to run the marathon for us
I was in London last year for my daughterâ€™s birthday and I happened to be in Trafalgar square having a coffee when I noticed some barriers being set up. I asked what was happening and I was told the London Marathon was coming through. As I had never seen a marathon, I thought I would stand around and wait.
After a short wait I heard â€œhere they comeâ€. A few very fast runners came and went, followed by wheelchair racers. I went to cross the street but as I looked to my right my eyes were met by an amazing sight. I was speechless, I have never seen so many people in all shapes and sizes running as a group.
In the corner of my eye I noticed a fellow in full camouflage gear; I thought he was there for security reasons but when he got into my full field of vision I realised he had one leg, was on crutches and was completing the course with the other runners. The look of determination and will power that he exhibited was unbelievable. I was absolutely astounded, so much so that I dropped my coffee and just stared transfixed at this person. I followed him right to the finish line. When he crossed the line, I said to myself if he can do it on one leg, I can do it on two.
When I got back home, I went to apply online and noticed that there were opportunities for charity sponsorship so I applied with Crimestoppers.
When I received the letter stating that I had been given a place in the marathon I was very nervous and excited â€“ the reason being I have never run a day in my life. I have never played any sports or have been active at all. With the letter in hand I went off to the local gym.
I started off in June last year walking for five minutes and a quicker pace for 30 seconds. I am now running or walking 15 miles per day, five days a week.
I am very anxious and nervous as the big day approaches; this is a long way out of my comfort zone. I have no doubt in my mind that I will complete it. How long it will take remains to be seen. The biggest motivator for me will be remembering the solid look of determination on the face of that fellow on crutches as well as the solid support of my daughter, who will there loudly cheering me on.
If Charlesâ€™ story has inspired you to do run the next London Marathon for Crimestoppers, visit our website to find out how you can get involved.