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Virgin Money London Marathon 

At the heart of the UK’s biggest running event

Ian Thom, our challenge runner from 2018 was awarded our place in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon! He is hoping to raise a further £2000 on top of the £2790 that he raised last year. If you would like to support Ian, you can do so by visiting his Virgin Money Giving Page

Throughout training, Ian has kept us updated on his progress. You can read these below. 



Ian completed the marathon in 5 hours and 45 minutes. 

Here's what he had to say to us when we spoke to him after he had caught his breath. 



15 April 2019 - 13 days to go. Ian's newest "blog"

I'm having to train on my Elliptigo ( cross trainer) bike and take daily walks while my ankle injury recovery continues. However, I'm making progress on the ankle, and with thanks to my physiotherapist, I WILL be on the start line for London! How I get on will be determined on the day, but taking part is my priority.

It’s been a real learning experience over the past 16 weeks in what’s involved with marathon running. Getting through the training has been the hardest part, it is definitely never to be understated. THIS IS TOUGH!

At least on the day, you know that at the end of the 26 miles, that's it - you've done it. Training is about knowing that you have to do more miles every week and hoping to be ready.

Donations have been coming in from my family and friends – thanks to them all, and some AF Association supporters, we’ve now reached £1800.

Almost there now – count down is in days, not weeks! Any support either monetary on my Virgin MoneyGiving page,  or on the day by cheering from the side, will be gratefully received!


3 April 2019 - 26 days til 26 miles! - Ian's latest update

"I visited London this weekend, and took in some of the marathon route using the "Santander Cycles". I managed 12 miles on Saturday and 20 on Sunday! It was a great taster for the big day, and a reminder of what a fantastic event this will be. I thought you might like to see a picture of me at one of London's most famous landmarks!

My achilles injury from last week will take several weeks to clear up, so I can only cycle and swim right up until the race day! I am determined to finish the marathon, so I only hope that the injury doesn't flare up too early in the day! 

I feel truly privileged that AF Association has given me the opportunity to take part in this iconic event. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to all who have donated to my Virgin Money Giving Page so far,. I hope to reach the £2000 mark before the event itself, so all donations count towards the wonderful work AF Association does in supporting those with AF. 





25 March 2019 - 5 weeks to go... Ian's newest message to AF Association and supporters:

This picture was taken yesterday at the end of the Garioch Half Marathon. I used it as another 2 hour training run, but injured my left ankle! I'm going for physio tomorrow! However, I won't be able to run this week now, so will have to use my bike and swimming as this week's training.

It was a very windy day, with a cold rain shower near the end. There were lots of hills on the route, which tested me, and I mostly felt fine apart from the pain in my ankle. I had to be careful not to do more damage, so held back my pace. 

I'm hoping to reach £1500 on my fundraising page this week - Please continue to support me and AF Association. The link is just above!

in my case - "Pain is Gain!"

Thanks for all your support so far - Ian



19 March 2019 - 6 weeks to go - Ian's latest update

I have just completed week 12 of the London Marathon training. Six more weeks to go now.This is hard on the legs I can tell you that!

This has been my biggest weekly millage so far. 47 miles for the week and on Sunday, I completed the long 16 mile run. Unfortunately, I had to pull back on the miles in week 11 with a minor hamstring strain. But thankfully, I have now recovered.

My total training miles now is 350 running and 250 cycling, I have also completed three half marathon runs in the past few weeks. But I need to reach around 600miles running according to the plan!

I welcome all of the generous donations, and it would be excellent if AF Association could raise the target £2000 ahead of the event.

This is the Association's only place – help make it special – support our fund raising.


26 February 2019 - Ian has kindly shared an update on his training:

"Just completed week 9 of the 18 week training schedule ahead of the London Marathon.
The weather has been a great help in February and I’ve managed to put in 4 successive 
weeks of 30 plus miles.
In the 9 weeks to date the weekly millage has been building up.
Having to run 6 days every weeks has only been possible with having a very understanding wife to support me.
Amazingly I’ve managed to stay injury free and hope that continues. But still a good way to go before race day.
The training is tough and it’s a once only for me with total respect for those who do regular marathons.
Must be a little crazy – as this is not easy to prepare for !
I really appreciate all the support and kind donations from my friends and people at work over the last two months.
Almost reach 50% of the target fundraising now.
It would be excellent to reach the target ahead of the big day.
As this is the AF Association’s only place for London I want to make it special for all members.
Spare the cost of a ‘coffee’ for me next time you have one. No donation is too small!"


2018's marathon saw Mark Hyem from Bedfordshire running for AF Association, Mark raised a total of £1900 for AF Association, we are so grateful! 


Mark says "I personally have suffered with AF for the last 2 years, I would like to run for AF Association to raise money and show and inspire other sufferers that AF is a condition that can be overcome and anything is still possible".



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01789 867


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