My VLM 2010: Big-G

Running the Virgin London Marathon in fancy dress (for charity and for fun)


Posted: 30 April 2010
by Big-G

This year I took part in my third (and final) London Marathon. It was to be my hardest yet most rewarding. 

I was one of the lucky runners to get through on the ballot but found that during the winter months I was struggling to train, struggling to do the miles. Having done eight previous marathons (with times anywhere from 4:45 to 5:17) I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew where I would struggle, where I would enjoy it, but still couldn't get motivated to train to the level needed.

Having run the Bupa Great South Run two years on the trot as the Gingerbread Man, I took the decision that the Virgin London Marathon 2010 would be the year the Gingerbread Man ran. At the same time my brother informed that his partner had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. She went through a lot of treatment over Christmas and thankfully is recovering well. Cancer in some way has affected us all - when I was at school my best mate had cancer, luckily he came through and through him and his wife I have two amazing godsons.

I decided I would run for Cancer Research UK and hoped to raise £250. When I told people that I was going to run as the Gingerbread Man they questioned my sanity, but also pledged money.

My aims: to finish, to raise money, to enjoy it (no matter how long it took) and if I could, to get on TV.

Marathon day arrived. Many people looked at me as if I was nuts, many laughed and many wanted photos as I stood in Pen 9 of the Blue Start. The marathon started and away we went. 26.2 miles later I finished.

What happened between Mile 1 and Mile 26? I can't really remember except for: fantastic crowds, runners, TV, radio support. I floated on adrenaline or air - running in fancy dress makes for a completely different experience and I would recommend it to any one. For 24 hours I became an anonymous celebrity - I still keep popping up in newspapers and on TV shows.

The best bit? I've smashed my goal of £250 and have currently raised £650.

I have never been athletic. I weigh 16.5 stone, I'm 6'3" tall but anyone can run/walk a marathon. Just do it, even if it just one... 

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My VLM 2010: Neil Garner
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My VLM 2010: Lorney (5:28)


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