This week, the 253,930 applicants for the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon will find out of they have been successful in the ballot and have a place in the race. Steve Garland, who has already secured a charity running place, tells us what inspired him to run 26.2 miles for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust…

Steve Garland



Why did you choose this event?
I chose to run the London Marathon as I’ve just moved to London this year and always wanted to do it. I have many memories of coming down here as a child to visit St Barts Hospital and always thought of the city as a bit of a bad memory… Now I live down here and I’ve fallen in love with London, I’d like to run the marathon for CHECT to banish the bleaker memories of childhood with more optimistic ones!

Why did you choose to support CHECT?
My little brother was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at age three. He was really lucky that it was caught quite early but he still lost an eye. It’s a cause close to my heart and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the staff and doctors at Bart’s eye unit who were so great with me growing up. They ran Christmas parties that I remember attending and must’ve given my parents a lot of support when they were going through a horrible time.

Have you done anything like this before?
I’ve done a 10k in Leeds before, but that was because a friend of mine dropped out a few days before and gave me his place. It was tough and I’m not taking this marathon lightly!

How have you been preparing yourself?
I haven’t yet! I’ve just got back from working at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for a month and doing everything to excess! I’ve started planning training regimes though with the help of a few friends who’ve done marathons before and I’m bracing myself for a hard slog of a winter… I’ll be downloading Eye of The Tiger and running laps of Hampstead Heath in an orange tracksuit if any wants to throw me a banana.

What is your fundraising target?
I’m going to go for £2,000. I think it’s ambitious but doable. I’ve never done one of these before so I think the fundraising will be taken heartily by my friends and colleagues. I always throw a few quid into my friends’ fundraising efforts so hopefully it’ll be reciprocated. I’m planning on organising some comedy nights in London to raise money as I work in the industry and it could be a really fun, different way of getting notes in the bucket.

You can sponsor Steve on his JustGiving page. Good luck to all of our London Marathon runners who are busy training for next year’s event.

If you’ve won a ballot place in the 2017 London Marathon, you can still support CHECT. Everyone who runs for us will receive our fundraising pack, a CHECT-branded runner’s vest, and ongoing help and support. For more information, please email eve.holdsworth@chect.org.uk or call us on 020 7377 5578.