We are thrilled to announce that next Sunday at the London Marathon, CAFOD Portsmouth will be represented! Our supporter Robert Corry from Fareham will be taking part in the hugely popular event this coming weekend – and he hopes to raise £2,500 in aid of CAFOD!
“2 years ago, I was sitting at home watching the London Marathon (April 2011) – both unfit and 4 stone overweight. Watching people perservere to cross the finish line, no matter what it took, lit a spark within me – I immediately said to myself – ‘Why are you sitting here watching when you could be out running and feeling healthier’. I immediatley went down to the old Whiteley Village and bought myself some running gear!
The next day was a shocker, I set a target of 5 minutes out and 5 minutes back – I could only manage about 5 minutes in total before I almost collapsed gasping for breath! I perservered, getting out there most mornings before work to do a short run. It took about 3 months or more just to get to 20 minutes. Once I got that far I felt like I was making progress and felt like I wanted to improve further because I was feeling great about what I was achieving, so I found an on-line training plan to go to 10km. That went quite well and I progressed to increasing my distance to a half marathon by about February 2012.
It was about then that I began to think about what I could do with my running, I was enjoying it and felt that I could think about stepping up to a Marathon and running for charity. Knowing that I would be 50 in October 2013, I definitely wanted to do a Marathon before I was 50! It was too late for London 2012, but being Irish I started to plan for the Dublin Marathon in October 2012. I set myself a very ambitious target of three and a half hours and started to train. Everything was going very well until September 2012 when I pulled a calf muscle. I hoped it would recover but, ultimately, I couldn’t run the race. It was mid November before I could think of running again!
Of course, it was too late to enter the London Marathon through normal entry by then but my favourite charity, CAFOD, was looking for runners, so I applied to run. I was first reserve! I kept running to mid-December and then got flattened by about the worst flu I can remember, I couldn’t run until early January. I had just started running again when I got the call from CAFOD that they had a place for me! Panic, how can I train in 12 weeks for a Marathon. I got out there and did what I could but another flu bug came along at the end of January, another 2 weeks lost. Then, during Half Term in February, I caught the Norovirus. Trying to build my distance was a challenge given all the set backs, including trying to train in cold and icy conditions in Canada and the US while I was on a business trip!
The final setback is a cold that I got just over a week ago, I hoping that it will clear up before the race. My target now is just to cross the finish line – finishing time is not nearly as important! I wish everyone taking part a wonderful day and hope they all achieve their dreams!”
We wish Robert all the best for his adventure on Sunday and we will be remembering him in our prayers. Please support Robert’s efforts by sponsoring him via his JustGiving page, or alternatively his Guessability page.
Good luck Robert and we look forward to hearing from you next week about the experience!