On 24th April PIP had it’s first ever participant in the Virgin London Marathon. We met Tristan Swoffer at a BBQ organised by one of PIP’s corporate partners British Land back in September 2015. Tristan signed up there and then for his first ever marathon too. We are super proud of him and all of his efforts. He has so far raised £2042 (smashing his target by over £500!).
Here’s how he got on in his words;
How was the London Marathon? Where do I begin! Was it one of the hardest things I have ever done? Yes. Did it hurt? Yes. Did my legs feel like they were going to drop off? Yes. Was it all worth it? Absolutely. When finally coming to terms with the daunting task of running 26.2 miles back in early January when I finalised my training plan, the sheer scale of the task ahead hit me. Many people think it’s hitting the ‘mental wall’ at around mile 19 which is the hardest part, but actually race day was probably the most enjoyable and (dare I say it) the easiest. It was the 640km of running beforehand and hours spent by myself which was the real challenge. Just me, my trainers, my music and the road. Needless to say I know Clapham Common like the back of my hand – I must have ran around it hundreds of times!
Reaching my fundraising target was another big challenge. In addition to asking friends and family to sponsor me, I organised a pub quiz night in Clapham – galvanising support from the local community to donate prizes for the raffle. 55 people attended and together we raised £830 in one evening!
So after months of graft, sore feet and early starts, race day was upon me. People had mentioned to me before at just how amazing the atmosphere is when you’re running around London, but I didn’t expect it to be THAT good. Just when you think you can’t run any further you hear someone shouting your name (my name was on my green PIP running vest) and suddenly your legs remember to work again and you keep on going. The whole day is just a mash of emotions both for runners and spectators alike, with hundreds of stories behind why people were running.
The charity I ran for, PIP, was really enthusiastic and welcoming. I visited their W9 project a few times before the day and saw their work in action and met many of the people with disabilities they support. It was this image I had in mind when training and fundraising and it got me through those final stages.
The London Marathon since its first race in 1981 has raised over £800 million and it is deeply satisfying to know that I am now part of that.
Running for PIP has been a hell of a journey but it was undoubtedly one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Same again next year?!