DanaI first took up running 5 years ago at the age of 55. I was watching the Great north run on TV and thought I would have a go, so sent off an application and a few months later I had an acceptance! So, thought I best start training having never run 100 yards since my school days over 40yrs ago.

Started running a little then walking a little, all this was done on quiet lanes around my home town of Bridgnorth where no one could see me. Over a few months I could manage to run 5 miles without collapsing and by the time of Great north run in September 2010, I had managed 11 miles and thought that would be enough to get me round. I was right I managed my first GNR in a time of 2hrs 07mins.

As they say once you start running it becomes a bug, so the next step up was to run a marathon, so thought if I’m going to do one then do the best one, so entered the New York marathon. My wife (Tina) has a brother living in New Jersey, so we decided to combine the marathon with a holiday and a visit. Training for a marathon is very different from a half marathon, it’s all about pacing yourself.

Anyway, 8 marathons later I decided to enter the Philadelphia marathon on November 23rd 2014. I was initially just going to run it as all other marathons and half marathons I had been fundraising for, for various charities, and it was getting harder asking the same people to donate or sponsor their hard earned money. But, after hearing about a local girl, Holly and how she sadly lost her battle to this terrible disease, I decided to fundraise for Caring Matters Now.

I already knew Holly’s grandparents and vaguely knew Holly’s mum Donna, so got in touch with the family and asked them if it would be ok if I ran the Philadelphia marathon in Holly’s memory and raise funds for Caring Matters Now. Needless to say Donna and her family were delighted, so after the London marathon in April 2014 I continued my training in preparation for the Philladelphia marathon in November.

I arrived in Philadelphia 3 days before the marathon, and went and had photos at the very famous Rocky steps in Philly, this was also the starting point for the marathon on the Sunday. The day of the marathon arrived and due to the early start of 7am I had to leave the hotel at 5am and make my way to the start at the Rocky steps. Weather was ideal at a cool 3c. This was the toughest marathon I had done to date, it was as they say ‘undulating’. I managed to complete it in my second fastest time of 4hrs 08mins. Even though it was tough it was the most enjoyable marathon I have done to date, I even managed to get my mobile phone out and video the final 300yds to the finish line.

When I got back to the UK I contacted Donna and asked if she would like my running vest and number from the marathon, which I have since passed onto her, and they have gone into Holly’s memory box.

I raised £720 total including gift aid, which has been split between two charities, one being Caring Matters Now. In addition to the money I raised I have also been given a £500 cheque by my employer Bridgnorth Aluminium, making my grand total for the Philadelphia marathon £860.00 for Caring Matters Now