Hannah Marchant is a paediatric physiotherapist from Dorset and is running her first ever marathon in London this April.
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For years I have watched the London Marathon in awe thinking how brave and physically fit the people are for running over 26 miles.

I felt inspired to sign up myself, as I wanted to do something to help a local charity and the son of a close friend of mine. I’m running for two charities, the Dorset Children’s Foundation and Noah Stevenson’s Journey.  I have been friends with Noah’s parents for over 12 years and know what fantastic loving parents they are to Noah, who has a life limiting condition called pontocerebellar hypoplasia.

Raising money to change lives for the better

My aim is to help them, as well as other families in Dorset, to create new special memories alongside making their day-to-day lives easier with the help of specialist equipment and adaptations that are not all necessarily accessible through the NHS. I have seen first-hand through my career as a paediatric physio how something so simple can change a life so significantly.

I signed up to the London Marathon for two (very honest!) reasons. 1) I didn’t think I would be chosen! And 2) I knew if I wanted to ask people to sponsor me, it had to be something that would challenge me both physically and mentally.

I’m a running novice

I have very little running experience, only participating in cross country at school when I was younger. Having not done any long distance running for around 10 years, I knew it was going to take dedication, sacrifice and hard work to help me get through it. But if other people can do it, I can too, right?!

I put my name in for the ballot, and luckily (or unluckily) I was chosen first time! Once selected, they sent me an induction pack and magazine which included a training plan.

The training plan is based on a 16 week period of interval training (January-April), but I decided to start straight away in November, as I had very little confidence in my fitness!

On day one, I realised I could barely run 2 miles without feeling as though I was going to pass out through being out of breath. I stuck to it, and found that my fitness actually improved quickly!

Now, two months before the ‘big day’, I am able to run 14 miles in 2 hours, something which I’m extremely proud of achieving.

All the sacrifices will have been worthwhile

I’ve had to make sacrifices; such as no nights out on Saturdays, early morning starts on Sundays, and running whatever the weather – but I can honestly say I am enjoying the experience.

I am incredibly nervous about running the marathon, and still have no idea how I’m going to run 26 miles on the day; however I am determined to do it! Having the support of friends and family is definitely a motivating factor, and I can’t wait for the feeling of both the personal achievement and the feeling of knowing I am helping others.

I would advise anyone who is thinking of doing it, to sign up and give it a go! It is hard work, but it is worth every blister and muscle strain…I think!

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Thanks so much to Hannah for taking the time to write this guest blog. She is running for a wonderful cause and you can sponsor Hannah here. Every donation helps. Good luck Hannah!

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