We caught up with marathon runner, Tony Hardy, this week to find out about his experience at the London Marathon. Last year he completed the marathon for the first time, and this year he’s taken on the extra challenge of signing up for both the London and Berlin marathons. All of Tony’s efforts are going towards raising money for Mind, a charity that deals with mental health issues – something that Tony believes in strongly due to his own personal battle against depression.
This year, Tony faced a few unanticipated challenges in the few weeks preceding the marathon. Last time I spoke to him, his training had been progressing well. A month before the marathon date, however, Tony had a hamstring and ankle injury. With the support of physiotherapists at the Willow Brook Clinic, Tony felt that he had recovered completely. He said he was extremely grateful to James and Hannah at the Clinic, because “they fixed everything’ and ‘got me to the start line”.
Tony recalls that he was “absolutely fine until mile 11”. It was at 8 miles that he saw a group of Mind supporters which gave him a fantastic boost. The group had met up before the race, and the CEO of the organisation, Paul Farmer, was there during the reception later on to acknowledge all the runners who were fundraising for Mind. With the added boost from the Mind supporters during the marathon, as well as the amazing feeling of treading on Tower Bridge, Tony continued strong until mile 11, but after mile 13 he found he could only walk. He kept going until mile 19, after which he couldn’t continue walking.
Tony said there was the same sense of camaraderie and euphoria in participating as there had been last year, and he is determined to come back fitter and stronger for the Berlin Marathon in a few months’ time. He said he is also planning some “fundraising events in Bradley Stoke over the summer”.
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