After securing a place in the Virgin 2012 London Marathon, Roland made a pledge to raise £1,500 for United Response, to help us continue our vital work supporting those with disabilities to live the lives they choose.
When he crossed the line on the 22nd April, he had raised £2, 274 – £700 more than his initial pledge! In his own words, Roland talks us through this fantastic achievement.
“The day was cool and bright with a light breeze – perfect conditions for running a marathon! The train ride to Greenwich was buzzing with the nervous chatter of all the runners on board.
“I made it to the raceline with minutes to spare. Originally my aim was to complete the race in less than four hours but, an injury had seriously disrupted my training regime over the previous weeks. So, I adopted a more realistic ambition of simply finishing the marathon in one piece.
“I took the first mile easy and then slowly began to build my pace. At mile three, I started to feel tightness in my calves. This developed into spasms of cramp by mile six, as I ran among the Canary Wharf skyscrapers! In spite of this, I felt great and enjoyed the run and the amazing atmosphere.
“My favourite stretch of the race was along the Embankment. It was a tough bit, but was so well supported by the crowds and other charity runners; time just seemed to fly by.
“When I saw Big Ben, I knew I was close to the entrance to Birdcage Walk – and the final mile! During the final 200 metres I saw my wonderful wife and my two boys! A quick hug and kiss and I was off again; making it across the finish line in 4 hours and 32 minutes.
“The crowd on race day were fantastic – I can’t remember a single mile where the pavements on both sides of the street weren’t lined with well-wishers cheering and screaming words of encouragement.
“I had a fantastic day! Running 26.2 miles is an achievement for anyone – and, unless you’re uber-fit, it takes a fair amount of determination to keep going.
“What inspired me to push through the painful cramps was the thought of what my sponsors and the United Response Fundraising team had done to support me. I’m so glad I was able to in help raise funds for the vital work United Response does supporting people with disabilities.”
If Roland’s story has inspired you to take on a challenge and raise some money for United Response, why not apply here to take part in next year’s London Marathon for us.
We also offer lot of other challenge events that you can get involved in.
Or, if you’d rather, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org in the fundraising team, to find out more.
Jennifer Daniels, marketing assistant