A trio of Tadpole Garden Village residents have been pounding the Swindon streets preparing themselves to take on the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 28th April.
Speaking to the TGV community mobiliser Chris Tanner, who himself ran the marathon back in 2018, Ali Gibb, Katie Webster, Rob Frak and Peter Firth share their stories.
What has inspired you to run the London Marathon?
Ali Gibb: I’m running for Mind, the mental health charity. I’m running in memory of my auntie and also a work colleague who both took their own lives, but also to support friends and family who also suffer from any form of mental illness. It’s still so misunderstood and it’s really important to me that we change that, so anything I can do to make a difference means a lot to me.
Katie Webster: I first ran London marathon in 2017 in memory of my auntie who sadly passed away from cancer. She was a runner herself and one of the last conversations I had with her was her telling me that I had to do it. She inspired me in so many ways. Her zest and energy for life spurred me on to make my own challenges and so it was me running it. I achieved it with a good for age and so automatically qualified last year however due to illness I deferred to this year so here I am again in training.
Peter Firth: I’m a sucker for punishment! I am running for Zurich Community Trust – I’ve worked with Zurich since moving to Swindon in 2005. The Community Trust works in partnership with charities in the UK and overseas to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged people.
Rob Frak: I am running the marathon for two reasons. Firstly, to raise money for the amazing charity Shelter and secondly to challenge myself to the ultimate running challenge.
Will this be your first attempt at London?
AG: This will be my second London marathon, having first run in 2013.
KW: I am not only doing London this year but have taking on the big challenge of completing five marathons this year, Manchester, London, Edinburgh, Berlin and New York to raise money for two charities very close to my heart – Breast cancer care/Breast Cancer Now and Maggies Cancer Centres whom have supported our family over the years and I would be so grateful for anyone’s support.
PF: My first for a decade – I ran in 2009. And in 2009 I said I would never do one again!
RF: Despite running for 12 years, I have never run ‘the distance’ of a full marathon. I have completed half marathons, 5 and 10k races but this will be my first marathon.
What’s been your preferred training route from TGV?
AG: I actually have a bit of an unusual training strategy for my long runs. I use the ‘there and back’ method so for example 4 miles out, 4 back, 3 out, 3 back, 2 out 2 back etc. It wouldn’t be for everyone but works for me mentally as I break it into chunks and I’m never too far from home, and am always running on routes I do in my day to day runs. It keeps me happy and in my comfort zone!
KW: I have been training around TGV and out to Cricklade and around the villages and back as well as running with friends in my home city of Oxford.
PF: As long as I’m not going too far, I do like to run laps around the village because you ALWAYS see someone you know – the community feeling in TGV is great!
RF: My favourite route is from TGV into West Swindon, around West Swindon and back to TGV finishing with a couple of loops of Tadpole.
To support Ali, Katie, Pete or Rob with their fundraising efforts or for more information, please click the links below.