I went to Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh Marathon was always something that I’d wanted to do one day, but I never had the confidence to commit. Then one of my friends suggested running it and it was just the excuse I needed to sign up!

This was my first Marathon.  I had no real experience of running prior to signing up but I gave myself five months of training to get into good shape.   My dad is an athletics coach and marathon junkie so I had a good coach in my corner.  Before this, I had only run half marathons before – one at school 10 years ago and another as part of my marathon training.

Tom running the Edinburgh Marathon

I signed up to run with Aspire because I had sustained a spinal injury myself.  In 2016 I fell six feet from some railings after trying to take a short cut through my local park. I fell onto my head, fracturing my C6/C7 vertebrae and causing an associated subluxation. Fortunately, my decompression and fixation surgery was a success, and other than some persistent numbness and tingling in my fingers, I made a full recovery over a 12 month period.  

The incident has made me very grateful for the opportunities I still have. When the marathon training was getting tough I always thought of what a privilege it is to be able to run and to have the freedom to fulfil my ambitions, which may have not been possible if my spinal injury was more serious or if I hadn’t received the right care.

That is why I chose to run for Aspire - to in some way ‘pay back’ my good fortune of not being paralysed myself.  I had heard only good things about Aspire and its work so it was the ideal choice.

Tom with his medal for the Edinburgh Marathon

I finished in 3 hours 37 minutes, which was slightly slower than my target of 3½ hours, but the windy conditions were so tough I was just delighted to finish. I beat my friend’s time from last year so it’s great to have the bragging rights over him!

I was really pleased to beat my fundraising target and raise £700, which is all thanks to my generous friends, family and colleagues. It’s never nice to pester people but I think they were all very happy to support such a great cause, so it was not difficult to raise the money.

I would like to say a big thank you to the Aspire team.  I was really proud to wear the Aspire vest and know I was representing such a great community of people.

Sponsor Tom

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Tom celebrating with his medal for the Edinburgh Marathon