Simon Mills is running his first ever London Marathon, although the last time he did any ‘proper’ running was when he was still at school.

He says he is taking part “not because I turned 50 in January, but because I want a London Classics medal. The only way to get one is to do RideLondon (the 100 mile cycle), swim the Serpentine (a two mile swim which falls on my daughter’s birthday so I’ll need tough negotiation skills to get that in!) and the London Marathon.”  Simon has chosen to run for Aspire "because of the work that Aspire does."

"As a cyclist, I am aware of how close a spinal cord injury can be - the catch phrase I’m just one bad Audi driver away is over used."

Simon running

For Simon, training is fun and is going well. “Most people start by doing shorter distances, like the 5k, but I’m in for couch to 42k! As a cyclist, I’m used to the four to six hours of training, but for this event it’s the case of still using the same muscle group but in a different way. The biggest difference is you don’t travel as far when you’re running - in two hours of running I cover a distance that would only take half an hour on my bike.

"Aspire treats their fundraisers with the utmost respect. Many charities promise - and in some cases waste your money on - big days out and training sessions you don’t need. Aspire looks after you with phone calls and advice from people who have run loads of marathons. I have also cycled RideLondon for Aspire and my daughter was one of the youngest to complete the Aspire Channel Swim challenge.”

Simon’s fundraising is going really well, and he is already two thirds of his way to his target of £3,000. Simon knows it is a big target, but it is also a big event and a massive challenge for him. He says, “people have been really happy to dig deep, once they get over the shock of me running!”

“This is going to be the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’m looking forward to Marathon day. I’ve watched loads of people run on telly and I am sure the atmosphere will help overcome the nerves and pain, but I’m mostly looking forward to the second half and the run alongside the Thames towards Westminster. I always feel a bit emotional if I catch a glimpse of myself on the big screen.”

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