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Martin McGinlay - Part of #TeamLC 2017

written by

Leukaemia Care, Charity

  • martinmaginley

My name is Martin McGinlay, I'm 34 and live in Worthing, West Sussex. I work as a Postman, so let's say I keep fit by walking a lot each day! 

I'm absolutely honoured to be running the London Marathon this year for Leukaemia CARE. It will be my first London Marathon, and with it being so hard to even get in, I was grateful when I was given this place. 

I have run a marathon once before, which was the Brighton Marathon in April last year, for our local children's hospice, Chestnut Tree House. It was one of the best days and, although I finished in five hours 30 minutes (I hadn't been running very long at all then), I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was great and both the charity cheer point and the general public calling my name got me round the course.

I have volunteered for the last few years at the London Marathon, doing anything from helping with set up (very early start), to marshalling, to just cheering people on. If you haven’t been to see the event before, trust me when I say the atmosphere is unbelievable. Every runner is treated like royalty by members of the public and you will get sick of hearing your name being shouted by the end of the day! 

I am running this year in memory of my Dad, but also in memory of my niece who we lost a few years ago, aged 14, to leukaemia. I was rejected in the ballot this year, but was given this place after a phone call that I made to Leukaemia CARE about my Dad’s bone marrow failure progressing to leukaemia. Unfortunately, it was very aggressive and he passed away in November last year. But in a way, his passing has made me more determined to both keep up with my training and to do all I can to raise as much as possible for the charity. I used the Leukaemia CARE 24-hour help line to chat to someone when I needed advice before and after my Dad died. It was a real help, so I now want to give back and help raise money to support others affected by blood cancer.

My training is going well so far. I have recently completed the Worthing Half Marathon in two hours 12 minutes, so I feel that I am where I need to be at this time. I also have the Brighton Half Marathon coming up shortly. Now, of course, the training runs are getting longer, and I’ll try and throw in a couple of 20-mile runs by the end of March. 

My advice to anyone who is training for a marathon is to build things up slowly. Remember, whether you have a great training run or a bad one, it will be worth it in the end when you cross that line! Also, always prioritise your long run, whenever that may be. I tend to run three times a week, with my long run being on a Sunday, but I will always prioritise it because the miles that you do on that run will be the training that gets you over the finish line. 

My fundraising is going good as well. I raised just over £530 last year at the Brighton Marathon, but so far this year I have doubled it and currently sit at just over £1000. I find it staggering, but have been surprised at the generosity of people. If you have a genuine story to tell, and they can see that your heart is in it, then people will help. I'm even finding that the businesses on my post round are helping too!

I'm so looking forward to the race and to seeing you all there. I hope to meet with some of you at the Expo, as well as on the day, so we can share stories and tips for the big day or in the future.

I just want to wish you all good luck with everything. Never forget the reasons why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve. Remember, never ever give up; you can and will do this! 

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