When I signed up to do the Edinburgh Marathon last year, I had just given up my charity place to run London again for the MS Trust. I reluctantly relinquished my place because I was worried about fundraising fatigue, niggling injuries and the pressure to finish after raising so much money. I figured I'd keep a low profile in 2017 and try a less iconic marathon in a city I'd never been to. And then I convinced my friend, running mentor and race partner in my first ever half marathon, to do it too.
Tash and I have done loads of miles together. Loads. Last year, she was there, managing my pace and egging me on for nearly all of my long runs before my first marathon. And this year we've done them all together bar one. We've mapped out words, plodded along the seafront and explored new routes through the downs. We've had good runs and bad runs. Hilly runs and flat runs. Tired runs and perky runs. And through them all we've talked. A lot. If there's one thing about doing a long run, it's the amount of conversation you're able to have.
During one of these chats, Tash suggested that perhaps we should try and raise money for the MS Trust again. We'd raised money for them back in 2015 – the year my partner was diagnosed with MS – by doing The Great North Run. And then I raised money again last year doing the London Marathon which now seemed so far in the past that straight away I agreed. But to keep things accessible and undemanding we decided that this year we'd just ask for fivers or tenners from people.
First though, we decided we should do one last lettering challenge – for the MS Trust – so I mapped out a 15 mile word for them and we ran it a couple of weeks ago. Then I figured once we completed our longest run – 20 miles – which we did last weekend, I'd start shouting about the fundraising. So, I'm shouting. The MS Trust is a great charity. MS hits close to home. It sucks. I want a cure to be found and the crucial work of the Trust to continue.
Please give if you can.