This year marks Diana’s 10th year fundraising for us here at Rainbow Trust, having run the London Marathon for us for the past nine years. She recently shared with us the motivation behind her efforts and how she stays motivated through the long months of training.
What inspired you to run for Rainbow Trust?
My first ever London marathon was through the ballot. This was in the days when you could enter for several consecutive years and then be guaranteed a place. I ran that first one with my daughter and we raised money for four different charities. I was totally hooked in after the first one but it soon became clear to me that ballot places weren’t going to happen easily and so I looked for a charity I could really put my heart and soul into. I always wanted it to be a children’s charity. I have an autistic grandson and know the enormous stress this can cause a family. Families with terminally ill or severely ill children face the most difficult and potentially distressing situations every day and I felt that if I could help even in a small way it was more than worth investing time and energy. That’s what drew me to Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity and I was thrilled to be accepted as one of their London Marathon runners. That was ten years ago and I am still proud to be a part of the Rainbow Trust London Marathon team.
How do you stay motivated to keep training and preparing for the big day?
I follow a 16 week training programme, provided by the London Marathon experts which I have used practically every year and as far as possible I try and stick to it. I find on the days when I don’t feel like running I’m usually fine once I get going! It does get pretty tough towards the end of the training programme but I never do more than I have to! I know some runners who have done too many 20 mile runs and been disappointed on the day as their bodies haven’t recovered. I’m an amateur runner and I know my limitations!
What is some advice you would give to someone thinking of taking up the challenge?
So for anyone who is thinking about taking on the challenge I would say go for it! Take the training seriously- I’m not a fast runner but I always get round thanks to my training - and take the fund raising seriously too. There are many ways you can raise money but you do need to choose a charity that you’re passionate about and I find that explaining what wonderful work Rainbow Trust do, coupled with the fact that they see someone who is probably twice their age taking on the challenge of the London Marathon they can’t help but put their hands in their pockets and donate!
How are you aiming to hit fundraising your fundraising target?
I also have a loyal group of Rainbow Trust followers who help me to reach my target each year. I learned very early on that relying on family and friends to donate is never enough. However generous they are they only give once! I think if you sign up to a charity you need to be realistic about how much you have pledged to raise and how you are going to get to that target. My advice would be to use any talents you might have. I play bass guitar and sing in a band and wherever we play my Rainbow Trust collecting tin goes with me! We do a monthly gig in a small country pub where our regulars get free music and a free lunch (courtesy of the landlord) and are all very happy to put £5 or £10 in the collecting tin. This soon adds up to a healthy amount over the year! Another helpful fund raiser is a matched donation each year from my daughter’s employer following a gig she has organised for me. Also two of my granddaughters have had their hair cut for the Little Princess charity and at the same time been sponsored for Rainbow Trust so two charities have benefitted from one act of kindness. There are plenty of ways to raise money for good causes if you can be creative.
What do you most look forward to about the event?
Marathon day itself is wonderful! For me it’s a real family occasion when my daughters, grandchildren, sister and brother in law all descend on London for the weekend. We have a fun day on Saturday, Italian meal on Saturday evening and then on Sunday they park themselves at various points along the course to cheer me on. The atmosphere along the streets of London is incredible and if you have your name on your running vest you will hear shouts of encouragement many times along the route. Added to that, seeing my family and passing the Rainbow Trust cheering points are the icing on the cake!
We are so grateful to individuals like Diana who devote their time to raising funds for seriously ill children and their families. If you would like to take on the challenge and join Team Rainbow Trust, visit the events page on our website.
Or for more information please contact us on [email protected] or you can call us directly on 01372 220031.