Tony Hardy is a Systems Engineering Consultant who has lived in Bradley Stoke since 2006. Last year he ran the London Marathon for the first time, raising £3,000 for Mind. This year, he is running twice the distance. He’ll be running his second London Marathon on 21st April and then the Berlin Marathon on 29th September. Each marathon is 26.2 miles, which makes more than 52 miles in total. As Tony will be turning 50 this year, he has named his fundraising page ’52 at 50’.
Following a 16-week training programme this year, Tony says he feels ‘in the zone’ but admits that he wasn’t always so fit. He started running as a hobby five years ago, and found it helped him immensely as a complimentary therapy towards dealing with depression. He said that ‘we’re lucky in this area’ because we have a community mental health team, but some areas have no mental health provisions. Battling with depression made Tony realise the value of organisations such as Mind, the charity he is fundraising for. Mind not only helps people directly through phone lines, it also does a lot of campaigning to raise awareness about mental health.
Last year’s experience of finishing the marathon left Tony emotional: he said, ‘It was such a great sense of achievement, I actually burst into tears.’ Admittedly it also ‘hurt a lot’ but Tony feels he’s even fitter this year because he is building on previous training (Tony’s time last year was 5:03:19). He says the inspiration for doing the first marathon came from seeing one of his friends doing it, which made him think, ‘If he can do it, so can I’. For this year, he says, ‘I want to prove that I can do it at 50 … and raise even more money in the process.’
Visit Tony’s fundraising page: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TonyHardy
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