But, as I tentatively laced up my trainers to join my friend Rachel Mai-Jones on her specially designed course along the Thames Path, I had no idea how far round I’d actually get.
I had done zero Marathon training due to badly inuring my left leg during my first week of training in June.
But once I was out with Rachel on Marathon Sunday, crossing part of the main London Marathon route, I slowly started to relax, enjoy every step and be purely in the moment. I wasn’t running for a time.
I was running purely for the enjoyment, being with my friends, dissolving into something bigger than myself, raising money for our local charity, South London Special League.
Rachel had designed a beautiful Virtual Marathon – including tea and home-baked fruit cake stops along the way from her mobile support van! We ran along some of the main London Marathon route in Greenwich and Woolwich followed by a gloriously sunny loop with friends along the Thames Path from Woolwich to the Thamesmead Pumping Station and back.
It was a magical day, showing me what’s possible when we all pull together. Being in the present moment with friends, their positive energy driving me on from injury, running together for a great cause.
Donate towards a new powerchair for Greenwich Powerchair Football club here.
Our original target was £2,000 to provide weekly tennis sessions in Greenwich Park. Thanks to the phenomenal support from our family, friends, community, the Westcombe News and Blackheath and Westcombe Ward who donated £4,500, we have raised more than four times this amount.
Sharon Brokenshire, MBE, Director and Founder of South London Special League says the extra money will go towards new Powerchairs for Greenwich Powerchair Football Club. (GPFC):
“Greenwich Powerchair Football Club play in the South England Region League and travel each weekend to matches. It is essential we are able to provide modern competitive equipment for our players.
The 10 Powerchairs are getting old and expensive to maintain. A new Powerchair costs over £7,000 and the Marathon money will go towards buying new Powerchairs.
Powerchair Football is a skilful, fast-moving game, enabling physically disabled players to play football at whatever level they desire – at a really competitive level, or just enjoy being part of the game. Many players prior to Powerchair Football lived solitary and isolated lives; the health and wellbeing improvements are enormous and can be seen at every game.”
A huge Thank You to everybody who supported our appeal – every penny is making a direct, positive impact on people’s lives, providing much needed opportunities for our diverse, disabled community of all ages to meet friends, get fit and have fun.
We hope to see the Powerchair team in action one weekend soon. In the meantime, there’s still time to donate to our Marathon Appeal.
Matthew Pennycook MP for Greenwich and Woolwich, visits Greenwich PFC