I consider myself generally fit. I play squash regularly, but my running experience, until recently, has been limited. I enjoy running because it clears my head; I can be in the zone either listening to music or appreciating the beautiful sounds of nature.  

I’m running the London Marathon because someone told me years ago that "It's very easy to give an example, but more difficult to be an example." Watching the London Marathon over the years I have seen many examples of dedication and selflessness, and I decided I also want to be an example.  

I wanted to run for a charity and, looking at the London Marathon website, honestly if I could have run for every organisation I would, because every single charity is amazing for the service they provide. I decided to run for Aspire because they are pretty much for everybody. The history of the organisation and the support network spoke volumes to me, and I felt inspired to raise as much as I can for them.  A spinal cord injury must be extremely challenging. Although I do not personally know anyone with a spinal injury, throughout my life I have met people experiencing challenging situations and I can tap into this for inspiration. 

I genuinely thought I had left it too late to ever run a London Marathon, so it will be a dream come true and emotional.

I think my body was quite relieved that I had seriously stopped considering it, so imagine the shock when I decided it simply had to be done and registered - I have some making up to do with my knees and ankles! 

Tope in a white shirt

My fundraising is ticking along but could always be better. I use my long runs to think up new strategies and approaches to get more donations, as it’s definitely outside my comfort zone. I’m asking people to sponsor me via all the usual communication channels, including social media. I try to create awareness about my challenge and Aspire without pressuring for a donation and find that many people are very receptive to the idea of supporting a charity challenge.

In general, my training is going well, I am committed to the challenge and making the necessary sacrifices. Fortunately, I started training as early as possible so I’m now focusing on pushing my distance on the long runs and learning to deal with adversities, such as freezing weather and injuries, and getting into a routine.  

It has been a wonderful experience so far. I’d like to thank Aspire for the opportunity and I am really looking forward to race day.

Sponsor Tope

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