"So why did I decide to run a marathon for the third time? Good question, stupidity?? But the real reason is Ollie and my brother in law Deano, Ollie, I met Ollie, through being Haydon the Womble, and the way he smiled through everything he had to battle through, meant I wanted to push myself once more, then there is my brother in law an amazing man, he couldn't do enough to make my sister and their family happy. I wanted to show my sister how special he was to all of us.
I chose the cardiac unit at St George's hospital for my brother in law, as he passed away from a cardiac arrest.
Then for Ollie the obvious choice was Momentum for all the help they gave Ollie and his family, throughout. Ollie passed away in July last year aged 4, Ollie battled cancer always with a smile and was an inspiring and loveable young man, and this is my way to help continue his legacy. Since meeting Ollie, I have discovered Momentum, and helped raise money at events, even being honoured to be Mo the owl on a couple of occasions!
I'm not going to lie being older, being busier at work, meant this was the toughest of the marathons I have trained for, if it wasn't for my worth literally shoeing me out of the house, when it was cold or pouring with rain, I wouldn't have done as well as I did, but thankfully with her support, even if it meant me going missing for 3 hours at a time, I ran more miles than I've ever ran before!
Along came marathon day, I struggled to sleep the night before, nerves getting the better of me, in hindsight I think I put too much pressure on myself to get a pb, to make Deano, Ollie and everyone proud of me.
But once I crossed the start line all my worries evaporated, now I had to focus on not going too fast at the start, that wasn't a worry as trying to get past people was impossible, so I started maybe too slow, the crowds were amazing, really supportive, but what really gave me a lift, just over half way, was seeing my wife and daughters in specially printed t shirts and a go daddy banner really cheering me on, I really wanted to stop and give them a hug, but my legs would have ceased up! So I kept going, the crowds encouraging me along the way, the orange segments and jelly babies, gratefully received.
At mile 21 I started to struggle this was the furthest I had ran in training and this was near the power station where there was hardly anyone to encourage you, just at the spot you need it, but once you get away from the power station you know you are heading home. It was around here, I spotted Adam in his Momentum t-shirt, and told him to keep going he was running for a great charity. Then I could see the pier the sign of where the finish is, the crowds started to build up again, but the pain in my legs did too, thankfully the crowds kept telling me to keep going, then I saw my family again, and they gave me the lift to get to the finish line.
And I got to the finish line over 28 minutes quicker than my previous marathon!
The icing on the cake was meeting up with Ollie's parents who had given up their wedding anniversary to come and cheer me on, with his siblings, which really showed me how important it was, not just for myself but them and Ollie's legacy."
Dean has so far raised an amazing £1237.37, to be split between Momentum and St George's Hospital Charity.