“I've always been fascinated by the London Marathon and have complete admiration for those that take on the challenge. It’s such a prestigious race and I’m grateful to Demelza for giving me the opportunity to run the famous route in memory of my brother, Ryan.
“It was such a difficult time for the whole family when he passed away but the care we received from Demelza was nothing short of incredible so I’m running the London Marathon for him and as a thank you to everyone associated with Demelza.
“My brother always felt comfortable and at ease at the hospice. The team had a real understanding of his needs, and nothing was too much trouble for them. The carers always knew how to make him happy and bring out his big smile and infectious laugh.
“When we lost him everyone at Demelza couldn’t have been more supportive. We had his service in the chapel at the hospice and even though it was an incredibly tough day it felt right and where he wanted us all to be.
“The uncertainty and then the postponement of last year’s race made training difficult. I took a few weeks off after running the virtual marathon and I found it tough knowing I had to go through it all again not knowing if it would even go ahead this year.
“At times it’s been gruelling, with the early starts to get the miles in, getting soaked through from cars splashing me, blisters on my toes and then the chafing (I won’t go into detail where), but this is all part of what you need to commit to if you want to run a marathon. The benefits of sticking to a training plan definitely outweigh the negatives though. I feel ready and I’m now just looking forward to enjoying the day.
“Running last year’s virtual London Marathon really helped me prepare physically and mentally for this year’s race. I’m looking forward to a flatter route as I foolishly ran my virtual route across a hilly and mostly off-road route from Canterbury to Maidstone. Some of the route took me across Pilgrims Way where I had to wade through ankle deep muddy puddles so even if it rains this year the conditions shouldn’t be as harsh.
“I’m sure I’ll hit physical barriers at some point. I’m expecting these around mile 20 but I know I can do it. The motivation of why I’m running will get me through those last few miles. Plus, I’ve been told the atmosphere is amazing so I’m sure everyone supporting, especially family and friends will play a huge part in getting me over the finish line.
“So far, I'm close to raising £3.5k and would love to get over £4k. I know it really affected Demelza’s fundraising with the London Marathon being postponed and then moved to a virtual event last year. Therefore, I really want to try and double my original target of £2k to £4k to help cover this shortfall.
“My family and friends are amazing. I’ve been completely overwhelmed by their generous donations and support I've had since finding out I had a place on Demelza’s marathon team. Everyone knows how important the charity is to me and having a personal connection to Demelza has really helped.
“My top tip is to organise events. The last 18 months have been tough for everyone, but I think it’s made us all realise how important it is to spend time with friends and family. I’ve organised a couple of events and they’ve been extremely successful in helping me reach my fundraising target.
“I was fortunate that I was able to host an actual pub quiz just before the pandemic started last year. This event alone helped me raise nearly half of my original £2k target. I also have a golf competition arranged that I'm hoping will push me over my new £4k target.”
Good luck Gavin from everyone at Demelza, we are sure you will smash it.
If Gavin’s story has inspired you, why not consider doing your own fundraising event or challenge?