People have many different reasons why they start running. Mine was to raise money for a cancer charity, after my mum was diagnosed early 2014. I had previously tried running without any real conviction. I did the odd run here and there, often with months between going for a run.
Wanting to 'make a difference' spurred me on to make more of an effort. I’m not really sure why I choose running as a way to raise money but before long I had signed up for the Nottingham Half Marathon in September 2014.
I completed the half marathon and felt ok about it all, so decided to look for something a little bit further. I found a local 30k (18.8 miles) scheduled for February 2015 which I ran in preparation for the April, Manchester Marathon. The marathon was hard, but I had an amazing sense of achievement finishing something that I never imagined I'd be doing barely 18 months before.
You could say that from there on, I caught 'the bug'! Manchester was my first marathon in April 2015, by the end of 2016, I had finished 41 marathons including 2 ultra-marathons. One ultra was a 40 miler in Wales where it rained all day. The other a 60k in Central Park, New York City!
I have always liked traveling for weekends away or longer. I now look to see if I can fit in visiting a new destination & running a marathon at the same time.
Outside of the UK, I've run marathons in 16 different countries, on 5 continents, including Istanbul Marathon where you run from Europe to Asia! I continue to try and find new places to visit and run. My plan is to hopefully do Comrades Marathon in South Africa at some point, which is actually 55 miles, not 26.2. That's definitely a 'bucket list' goal.
I have pulled back a little on the marathons but still run a few each year. I am looking to focus more on ultras, having done couple of 50-mile races with varying degrees of enjoyment! My current race tally is 69 marathons and 6 ultras.
I will soon be running for 24 hours at Equinox 24 at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, where you run 10k laps for 24 hours or until you've had enough. Last year I covered 68 miles with some sleep during the night. This year hope to do 80+ miles without any sleep. Wish me luck!
– James Abrahams
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Thanks to James for sharing his running story! What’s yours? We’d love to know. Send an email to Caroline, email@example.com if you’d like to contribute to our blog.