My route to running for Whizz-Kidz is, I think, a little unusual.
It starts many years ago when I was a college lecturer. I had to cover a sick member of staff who was working with apprentices doing community work at a school for young people with disabilities. This was the first time I saw young people with cerebral palsy and how the staff cared for them.
I was very moved by what I witnessed, but it wasn't until some years later, after many failed attempts to get a ballot place in the London Marathon, when Whizz-Kidz sent me an email offering me a place.
I looked at what they do and it brought back the time I spent working with the apprentices. I decided that I could do something that would give me an opportunity to make a difference for the young people that Whizz-Kidz support.
When taking part in the Marathon, it is so inspiring when you pass the cheer points that I actually cry with a huge smile on my face.
Including the virtual marathon last year, 2021 will be the sixth time I have run for Whizz-Kidz. Each year is more amazing and the support team is brilliant.
I think that the things I am looking forward to at the London Marathon, apart from finishing, are the cheer points and meeting with the team before and after the finish.
When it comes to fundraising, my family, friends and colleagues are so supportive, but we sometimes need help. The Whizz-Kidz team support us so much with tried and tested ideas, merchandise, etc.
I am self-employed so work colleagues are limited, but in the past I have done work for companies and they have sponsored Whizz-Kidz instead of paying me.
For the 2020 Marathon it was a family decision that I would run in fancy dress. I was thinking of a superhero costume but my wife Linda remembered that during my time in the RAF, because I was an avionics tech, we were called fairies. So guess what, my outfit is a fairy costume, a wand, wings and a tutu!
When the pandemic caused the Marathon to be cancelled, as a couple in their 70s, me and my wife were self-isolating. Restricted to one hour of exercise per day, I ran 6.2 miles in the outfit on the 26th of April for the 2.6 challenge and I was so nervous.
The response in the village where we live was incredible! I was contacted to look at the local Facebook pages and the response was crazy.
I have now covered more than 1000 miles dressed as a fairy. I have never been so far out of my comfort zone but it has meant that I feel I am making a difference.
To the Whizz-Kidz team I would like to say thank you for your support, keep up your fantastic efforts and remember you are amazing. Keep the faith, we will overcome the difficulties because we know our efforts will mean so much to the young people that we do this for.
If anyone out there missed out on a space in the London Marathon through the ballot, please come and join us!
We are so lucky that we can do what we do, so please let’s help young people to have mobility and the opportunity to be able to move without relying on others to help. We can create magic.