Russell WBHO site manager David Ragan has never run a marathon before, so he popped out one afternoon to see if he could do 20 miles and managed it in 3hrs 40mins.
Which was great news for the dad-of-two as he prepares for the first ever ‘virtual’ London Marathon this Sunday, October 4th.
Delayed from April 26th due to the pandemic, the 46-year-old won’t be heading down to the bright lights of the capital but will instead carve out his own 26.2mile route pounding the streets of Bamber Bridge near Preston.
David decided on a whim he’d like to give the UK’s most famous race a go while watching last year, and was amazed to get a place in the much sought-after public ballot on his first attempt.
Thinking he’d need a few trial runs under his belt, David signed up for the Blackpool half marathon which he completed in 2 hours 9 min despite the best efforts of Hurricane Dennis howling along the Promenade.
And with several more long runs now completed, he’s confident of crossing the finishing line in under five hours.
David has also decided to use the marathon as an opportunity to raise money for the NSPCC, a charity his family is keen to support.
He said: “The NSPCC is the foremost children’s charity in the UK and does incredible work right across the country.
“My wife is a nursery school teacher and we have two young children and it breaks our hearts to know what some kids have to go through.
“Our boys have already raised money for the NSPCC with a one-mile run, so I’d like to do my bit too.
“The charity has become even more relevant and is a vital lifeline for a lot of children because, with Covid 19 encouraging people to stay at home, child abuse and neglect cases are sadly on the rise as home may not be a safe place to be.
“Hopefully by running the London Marathon I can help to raise some more money for the charity and support their work even further.”
The impact of Covid 19 does mean David will miss out on the full London Marathon experience, but he’s still looking forward to it.
“I have continued to train right through the summer in the hope the marathon would still go ahead on October 4th in London, but unfortunately it’s not to be this year.
“Instead, it is a virtual London marathon which entails running the 26.2 miles anywhere on that day and forwarding the evidence by way of an app in order to calm my finishers medal.
“I plan to run six laps round Bamber Bridge passing my house for refreshments and support each lap. My wife and 2 sons plan to join me on their bikes for the last lap to give me encouragement.
“I’d still love to do the proper course one day and I’m hoping my place in next year’s event will be confirmed this week and continue to raise money for the NSPCC.”
David has set up an online collection for anyone who wants to donate and help him to reach his £500 target.