Three weeks ago today I received an email asking if I wanted a place in the London Marathon that Help the Hospices would loose if not filled in 24hrs. There were two main problems with this proposition:

  1. I had only run about 4 miles since the start of 2013 and would need to bank around 250 miles in the next 12 weeks (which is as far as I ran in the whole of 2012) to stand any chance of finishing.
  2. I needed to commit to raise £2500 to secure and justify my place.

I obviously said yes, and now that my training is on track I need your help with the fundraising.

I’m going to try a couple of tactics you get your support. You can donate because you want to give me the motivation to complete, because you enjoy watching me humiliate myself in my video diary or because you understand the importance of the hospice movement. I don’t really mind which but please give what you can.

The Personal Appeal

As you may know I used to live a slightly less sedentary existence, running most days and had dreams of running the London Marathon and getting a good time. I even got a place on a couple of occasions but unfortunately HM Government had different plans for my time. Since leaving the Army though, I became a bit of a fat knacker, enjoyed my food a little too much and ignored my fitness and therefore these dreams were mostly forgotten. On occasions I would submit a ballot form or think about it but accidentally miss the deadline. This time last year I decided to do something about it and hauled myself round a two mile circuit in a time I daren’t print but have been working hard since then completing two half marathons raising £1700 for Medical Detection Dogs. Don’t take this to mean that I am not slightly afraid or scared of the task ahead because I really do need your support to get me to the finish line.

The Humiliating Videos

This started out as a bit of a gimmick but already has a bit of a cult following, so I will film a new video every week and post to my site www.mattsmallman.com/. If you donate, you will get a special thank you video and some special updates before, during and after the big day. Here’s this weeks video from the Isle of Dogs:

The Good Cause

Help the Hospices represents the many hospices around the UK on the national stage; lobbying for funding and recognition, as well as providing training, support and education. If you don’t already know hospices provide truly holistic care to patients who are nearing the end of their life, often after continued treatment for terminal illness has been judged futile or counter productive. They provide an environment that recognises the emotional and spiritual needs of the patient and their loved ones, as well as the purely functional. At both of the two most difficult times of my life, two different hospices have helped me and the ones I love to come to terms with the reality of the situation, to let them really live the last few days of their lives and to say goodbye in a dignified manner. They are certainly not most the glamorous part of the health service or the sexiest of charities but unfortunately death is inevitable and if those you love go before their time then they provide a dignified and respectful setting in which to do so. It takes 400 million pounds per year, more than 1 million pounds a day, to keep the UK’s hospices going, so every pound you can give is needed.

Please give whatever you can, whether to see me humiliate myself on the internet, to support the hospice movement, to encourage me to get round the course, or a combination of all three. Don’t forget that Barclays will match your donation and that you can increase it even further by opting to use gift aid.

You can keep track of my fundraising, training and race progress at www.mattsmallman.com/marathon.