Brathay 10in10 Athlete
My name is Paul, 53 years old and I have enjoyed running for approximately 7 years now. I’m an account manager within a large organisation and deliver pre-press related services for some well-known consumer products. My running activities started relatively late in life having not discovered the enjoyment until the age of 46 when I realised I wasn’t at my best physically. I was beginning to retain a few “beer” pounds that were harder to hide than in previous years and my mood was low, partly from work related stress – not that I realised at the time. I felt that I needed to pursue my new found hobby of running to help myself and subsequently everyone around me. Discovering the joys of running gave me my own peace, my own development, achievements and so much more.
I have my wife, Kate, of 22 years, to thank for my initial endeavour into running. She had been running casually with friends and neighbours for many years and had been encouraging me to join her and discover for myself the open spaces around where we live. Eventually, I joined her and that first mile was a huge struggle. It seemed a very long way- how long ago that feels! I persevered and headed on down to the local running shop to get fitted out with appropriate trainers and entered my first 5k event! The support that Katrina and my 2 children gave me was very enthusiastic and contagious.
After a year of running and completing my first Half Marathon (Marlow), it seemed the natural thing to enter the ballot for the big one – the London Marathon, not really thinking that I’d be lucky enough to obtain a place. It was early October 2013 when I knew I was in and realised that I needed some real training and therefore joined my local running club, Marlow Striders. The excitement and anticipation with my training was amazing. Since then, I have run over 20 marathons or ultras but I always keep in mind my first marathon in London to motivate me to keep going. My family have been so supportive and we have travelled to many different European cities, sometimes with the club too, which has been great fun!
I have met some amazing people on my journey – made many new friends and achieved some great results – for my age. My fastest marathon being 3:27 in Manchester just this year and then running (and walking) the Thames Path 100 miles in one day just 4 weeks later! I am still overwhelmed by the support & encouragement received and I know that I’m lucky enough to be able to do the 10in10.
Why 10in10? It was after the London Marathon (2018) that I was saddened to learn of the death of one of its participants, Matt Campbell (#FinishForMatt #MilesForMatt). I hadn't realised at the time, but we'd both run Manchester earlier in the season and Matt was running the London Marathon to continue to raise funds in honour of his father (Martin), for Brathay Trust. It’s a daunting prospect, but I entered to see ‘what if’. I’m further excited, like Matt, to raise money for the Brathay Trust. I have raised over £1000 in aid of leukaemia after losing a very close childhood friend in 2014. The ‘I ran for Wardy’ campaign meant that I ran pretty much every event that year- I’m hoping that this drive and determination will carry me through the 10in10.
I’m not going to lie – The Brathay 10in10 challenge will be one of the most testing endurance experiences I will endure. I know I will be in a good place both physically and mentally with the help of my wife and resilient mind coach, Kate, as well as the support from my fellow runners. I am looking forward to the year of some fun fundraising and helping the youths supported by the Brathay Trust.
- 2013: Marlow Half Marathon
- 2014 & 2018: London Marathon
- 2017: Madrid Marathon
- 2018 : Manchester Marathon
- 2018 : Marathon du Mont Blanc
- 2020: Brathay 10in10 Donate
Interested in the 10in10?
Are you an experienced marathon runner and up for a new challenge? Would you like to be one of the few specially chosen athletes to run the annual Brathay 10in10 Challenge Event while raising money and awareness for the charity?How can I apply?