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Fundraising and Training for the London Marathon

I’m Mark Rogerson and I am 34 From St Helens in Merseyside. I am registered as partially blind after I had complications during eye surgery in 2013

I have run two marathons, fourteen half marathons and six 10k races to date since I took up running in September 2014. In 2018 I am running my third London marathon for RNIB and I am also running The Chicago Marathon in October.

I started running in 2014 and I used it as an escape to my problems I was having with my sight. I was upset and depressed with losing my sight and my way of coping with it all was to try and change a massive negative in my life into something positive. I set up a fundraising group and we organised lost of events including 10k runs, half marathons and climbed Mount Snowdon.

I work shifts so I have to fit my training in when I can around work. I am training on average about 4 times a week. My training this year hasn’t been plain sailing so far as I missed a large period of my training plan in December as I had a chest infection which took a while to fight off. I am back on track now and I have managed to establish some routine.

I raise money for RNIB to say thanks for the help and support I received after my life was devastated by sight loss. RNIB gave me practical and emotional support as well as referring me to the local authorities who provided me with mobility training. The charity provided me with all the resources and information to help me go and live a relatively normal life. I set up a fundraising group in 2014 and we have raised In excess of £20,000 in the space of 3 and a half years.

Running with a guide runner is really helpful for me. Not only do they act as my eyes myself and my guide runners can draw encouragement and motivation from each other when the going gets tough. I have also found with my two previous London Marathons that it’s been really nice to share something as special as a London Marathon experience with someone else that’s been with you on the long journey with you from the start of the training.

I manage the fundraising by putting on a big event in around November time with the help of family and friends. It’s a charity night which involves a disco, buffet, raffle, tombola and games to win prizes. The three charity nights we have held have raised between £1700 & £2000 each.

My training is difficult to fit in with my work as I work shifts. It is very much a case of juggling the sessions on my plan around and fitting them in when I have time.

I find the training harder than the fundraising. With the fundraising we just have one big push and get the majority of the money from the charity night. The Training for me is difficult for me as I have said previously with my work. I do actually start a new job in February which is Monday to Friday, 9 until 5 which will make things a lot easier. I have landed a job at RNIB on the tax advice team which I’m looking forward to starting.

My biggest fundraising tip would be to hold an event or a series of small fundraisers, raffles etc. People are more inclined to give you money if there’s a chance of them getting something for their money.

Come marathon day I just hope that myself and the rest of the team all get to London in one piece and that everyone completes the course and comes back safely. On a personal note I’m happy just to finish and I just hope that my guide Sarah enjoys the experience. If I could dip under 5 hours 30 minutes too that would be amazing.

Mark's justgiving page is: if you would like to drop him a donation.

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