Category Archives: Charity

London Marathon 2012 – we came, we saw, we ran

Happy St. George’s Day for today – 23rd April.

We’ve done it.  26.2 miles around London town done!  And what an event.  37,500 runners, a huge number of supporters and blue skies for the most part.

Over £2,220 raised for Whizz-Kidz – and donations still coming in – by my friends and family and a staggering £1.5 million raised for Whizz-Kidz by all their runners.  I didn’t make the photo shot before the start but here it is – what a team!  If you still would like to make a small donation, it’s not too late – just go to www.justgiving.com/jasonnoble1.

An early start yesterday for Nobles and the train journey up to town quite something else for a Sunday morning.  So many people going to the marathon to run or support.  The trains were so busy it was like normal rush hour, but with a real buzz in the air.

Perfect weather yesterday morning over London – clear blue skies and not too hot.  It got warmer throughout the morning but the rain and wind didn’t hit until about 3pm – by which time a lot of runners had finished.

After a detour to the wrong start, we made our way back to the red start and the Noble support crew said goodbye and good luck and made their way up to Westminster just after mile 25 to join Nic’s mum and dad and wait (a good few hours) with the banner.

A few toilet stops for me before the gun and then we were off.  Note – not going to the toilet for almost 4 hours is in itself a major achievement for me (and most blokes).  I crossed the start line about 3 minutes after the gun went off, full of high spirits and enjoying the continuing buzz.

My pace started at about 8:30 per mile for the first 2 miles, just with the crowd and trying not to get off too fast.  After about 4-5 miles, pace at 8 minutes per mile, so on track.  The blue and red starts merged at about 3 miles and it’s then that you realised how many people are actually running – a lot.

A trip around the fully restored Cutty Sark at about 6 miles was another high point, with a great crowd.  South of the river the atmosphere was amazing – with bands playing, people out in the street cheering outside their front doors, in pubs with beers in hand at 10:30am and children handing our sweets and all wanting high fives from the runners.  Spotted my cousin Leanne at about mile 11 with the Lyons support crew waiting for Noel and had a huge “Jason” shout from them.  Having your name on the front of your shirt really helps and people all along the route are shouting out your name, helping push you along.

My pace was well on-track up to half-way and 3:30 looked a real possibility.  Then the dreaded Docklands happened.  My pace started gradually slowing down – 8:02 (not too bad can still get back), 8:05 (might need to rethink target time); 8:07 (this is going to be hard), 8:11 (oh crap) and so on…!   Support through the Docklands was great.  From 2009 I remembered it being a bit on the sparse side with people cheering you on, but not this time – they were there in force.

Just before the half-way point, I got to see the eventual winner come sprinting past (literally – 4:43 minutes per mile for 26.2 of them).  An awesome sight and with 6 or 7 miles to go he already had a lead of about 2 minutes.  Saw a few of the other front runners going passed and cheered them on, before almost getting knocked over by a Smurf.

 

Now coming out of the Docklands, with about 6 miles to go, and past Tower Bridge and runners just coming up to half-way and then past The Tower of London.  Getting closer but it’s hurting now.  That infamous carrot (him and his runner bean mate beat me in the 1/2 marathon in 2010) keeps catching up and over taking and then dropping back.  Will he beat me this time?  Yes!

A bride runs past, but Spiderman drops back.  A Roman Centurion overtakes me and gets the crowd up in cheers – he’s fast!  The Embankment now and nearly on the home straight.  Legs hurting but I refuse to stop – it’s a mental thing now to keep pushing!

25.5 miles and the Noble support crew come into sight.  Run up and give little Sophie a high five and nearly go flying – close call.  800m to go – that sounds a lot further that it should.  600m – we’re close.  400m – I can almost feel the finish line.  Less than 400 yards – I can see the finish.  Go go go – a push for a “sprint” finish, nothing left but overtake at least one person, and we’re done!  Finish line crossed.

A hobble now for about a mile to get the area where you meet friends and family – that’s not funny, having to walk that far now!  Medal and bag of goodies picked up and free drinks downed.

My official time was 3:46:54 – a whole 14 seconds faster than my time in 2009.  But a way off my target of 3:30.  Pace and split up to half-way were good and on track (and pretty much spot on what they were in 2009).  Official time and place is…

 

Always an emotional time now and a few hugs with the support crew when I find them.  Then off – very slowly – to the Whizz-Kidz reception and massage.  The massage was very nice but legs very sore today and stairs are my enemy.  Fingers crossed the usual DOMS doesn’t occur where it hurts most 2 days later!

 

 

An amazing experience yet again.  London at its absolute best.  2012 is going to be London’s year!  Perfect weather and a great great atmosphere.  Yes it was very very hard as before – and that’s with all the training.  To crack 3:30 – maybe one day – even more training no doubt needed.  And very emotional.  Plus a parking ticket when we got back to the car – parking on Sunday’s is free normally isn’t it???  I’m in the process of “negotiating” with the council to see if I can donate my fine to Whizz-Kidz instead.  Fingers crossed.

A very fitting quote – “If you want to win something, run 100 meters.  If you want to experience something, run a marathon.” by the great Emil Zatopek.

In the marathon news yesterday, Fauja Singh, believed to be the oldest marathon runner at 101, completed his race in seven hours and 49 minutes. The East Londoner has said this would be his last marathon so he can concentrate on shorter distances and faster times.  What an inspiration.

The day of course was sadden by the news of the death of 30 year old Claire Squires, one mile from the finish.  Very very sad.  Our thoughts go out to all her friends and family.  Claire was running for the Samaritans.  RIP.

£1 can make a difference – help me help #WhizzKidz

The final push.  The training’s all done, the kit’s all ready and it’s just waiting now.  This time tomorrow I will be somewhere near the finish line – positive thinking!  And all the hard work training over the last 5 months paid off – fingers crossed (still thinking positively but hedging my bets).  And over £2,000 raised for Whizz-Kidz through my friends and family and beyond, far and wide.  It really is amazing and means so much to me and of course Whizz-Kidz and the children they look after – a huge huge thank you to everyone!

Even after tomorrow it’s not too late too donate and if you’re waiting to see if I finish – that’s all good.  The Just Giving page will still be up and running and taking donations.  And of course you can still donate today.  Every £1 and any loose change you donate makes a massive difference here.

Just go to www.justgiving.com/jasonnoble1 to donate or even send a text from your mobile – it couldn’t be easier…

Whizz-Kidz have some 500 runners running tomorrow and are aiming to raise over £1.5 million – that’s an amazing sum of money that all goes to help the work they do and allow the children they help to live more active lives.  Being part of this is a real privilege as I’ve said before.

The final countdown – 7 days to go.

It’s the final countdown…

And a reminder of the classic Europe song from 1986…

This time next week it will be over for a few, nearly over for others and a little to still go for a lot.  The London Marathon 2012 – the year of the London Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  What a great year to run 26.2 miles around this amazing city in the biggest charity fund raising event there is with 40k other people!

The training’s nearly done – 15, 17 or 21 weeks hard running.  Now in the final taper stages.  Stretching lots.  Sleeping nicely.  Eating well with a few extra carbs.  And all getting ready for next Sunday – 22nd April.  With a visit to the London Marathon Expo this week to pick up your number and bits.  It’s all getting exciting!

I still need to remind myself what time it starts on Sunday and then recap on plans to get up, eat and get up to London with Mrs. Noble and the kids and my mum & dad in-law as the Noble support crew.

The plan for me for the final 7 days looks like this…

  • Sunday – easy morning karate session; done without injury.
  • Monday – rest day with stretching and core exercises.
  • Tuesday – 6 miles at marathon pace (mp).
  • Wednesday – 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles at 30 seconds faster than mp , 1 mile cool down.
  • Thursday – TBC maybe a slow 4 miles.
  • Friday – rest day with stretching and core exercises.
  • Saturday – 2 very easy miles just to keep legs moving.
  • Sunday – it’s race day!

And still going for the last week of charity donations for Whizz-Kidz.  It all helps with the great work that they do for the children that they look after.  All donations still very very gratefully received – just go to my Just Giving page.

Whizz-Kidz – why I’m running

To help raise money for these guys and the great work they doing helping disabled children be as mobile as they can and basically just be kids.  This is where your help is needed and every penny they get in donations goes to help these children.

This is a link to Whizz-Kidz TV advert…

Funny but with a very strong point that’s easy to see why the work they do is so important for the children.  Things we all take for granted, that these guys can’t do without the help from Whizz-Kidz and these amazing wheelchairs.

Please dig deep and give as much as you can to help (my Just Giving Page).

Running for charity – help needed

A quick reminder what the London Marathon is all about – raising money for charity.  It is probably the biggest running event in the world, is definitely the biggest fund raising event in the world and has raised over £450 million for a range of great causes since 1981.  That’s an amazing amount of money raised for good causes.  Participants raise around £50 million in each event every year now and over 75% of the people running are doing it for charity.

These are some pretty amazing facts and really add to the experience on the day.  Running with over 36,000 other people (and this number grows every year), some in fancy dress, some out to break world records, with professional athletes and with the best crowd and city sights in the world to see, is nothing short of an awesome experience.

Whilst I’m not doing it in fancy dress, I’m still aiming to raise as much money as possible for Whizz-Kidz, through donations from friends, family and others who are kind enough to donate to this good cause, Christmas carol singing with the guys from Whizz-Kidz, a karate club kickathon (everyone doing as many kicks as they can in 2 hours with prizes for the ones doing the most and the best techniques) and more.

Some really important facts about what Whizz-Kidz do are below:

  • There are 70,000 disabled kids in the UK waiting for the right wheelchair.  In some cases kids as old as nine are still being pushed around in a toddler’s buggy simply because they do not have timely access to the equipment they need.
  • It costs on average 3 times as much to raise a disabled child as a non-disabled child and Whizz-Kidz will provide 1,200 wheelchairs and adapted trikes this year.
  • Disabled young people are over twice as likely as their non-disabled peers not to be in education, employment or training.  Whizz-Kidz will provide over 100 work placements this year.
  • Whizz-Kidz will deliver Wheelchair Skills Training to over 700 disabled kids this year.

The money we raise for them goes to helping all these children live much more active lives – something we all take for granted.

So how can you help?  One donation is all it takes.  A big big thank you to everyone who’s made a donation so far.  If you’d like to make a donation just go to http://www.justgiving.com/jasonnoble1 and follow the instructions.

You can also make a guess at how long it will take me to finish and be in with the chance of winning a bottle of bubbly.  To make a guess go to my Guessability page.

And of course if you’d prefer to donate with good old fashioned cash or a cheque, let me know and I’ll give you details on how to get it to me.

My fund raising target is an ambitious £3,000 and I need your help to get there!

Next post about running this week…

Could it be any easier?

Don’t forget, all the marathon training is to help support the great work that the guys at Whizz-Kidz do, helping disabled children become more mobile.  The clip below from their web-site gives some details on the work they do – please have a read:

These guys have several hundred runners in the London Marathon raising money for them and it is their biggest fund raising event of the year.  They also really help support the runners whilst fund raising with marathon training sessions, regular newsletters and getting people involved in other activities (e.g. Christmas carols).  Some pics below from the Christmas carols at Fulham Broadway shopping centre last weekend.  We went along after the carols at the Royal Albert Hall and sung some more for another couple of hours. The guys from Whizz-Kidz were there from 10am until 7pm with their running volunteers coming along for 2 hour sessions throughout the day and we raised almost £1,400.

The little Nobles and Nic also helped out with mum and dad coming along for a little bit as well.

So could what be any easier?  Donating.  With the wonders of modern technology – and the services from Just Giving all you need to do is send a quick text message (care of a cool new service set up with Vodafone) from your mobile with the amount you would like to donate to 70070 and the code VCKN89.  You receive a text message receipt from them and can even tick a box to allow Whizz-Kidz to get back Gift Aid from HMRC.

Don’t buy that extra 1/2 pint at the pub – please send a quick text message and help make a real difference to these children’s lives.