Joggers Journey - Stephen Hoare
Meet our winners
The weather has been one of the biggest challenges for me so far. Back in January when I started the pre-marathon training plan I ran in some pretty foul weather. Doing interval training on an extremely windy seafront was not fun or pleasant. This summer's heatwave also bought some difficult and different challenges.
The best parts have definitely been the experiences and rewards this training has given me. From being one of the Joggers Journey winners to meeting new people via running groups and the British Heart Foundation running group I am in.
I also got to spend a day at the British Heart Foundation headquarters where we ran together and also had the opportunity to listen to expert speakers to gain advice on training, recovery and nutrition.
Personally, it has been an amazing experience as it's transformed me as a runner, and I have developed massively over the months. I see the rewards for my training in my runs even recently when I picked up a parkrun pb. It's also changed me as a person.
If I was to give any advice to anyone thinking of taking on a similar challenge, I would say make sure you train well, eat well, and remember hydration is key. Remember at times training will feel tough, hard, and it will come with some downs. But you will also have great times when seeing the rewards and meeting new people along the journey who will feel just the same as you do.
Incorporate strength training as it's really been key for me and most of all enjoy it, embrace it even when it feels hard. You will definitely get to have the reward come the big day!
I'd also say don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a session. We are not pro athletes and everyday life will throw you a few curveballs along the way.
For me personally if I was to do anything different it would have been handling my transition into a new job a little better. I moved to a night role mid training and that had a big impact on my training for a fair while. As I had to sleep in the day, I had less gym time and a bit of stress.
Charity running for: British Heart Foundation
Fundraising link: Just Giving
I am running the London marathon as it's always been a bit of a dream. I started off a bit of a novice runner last January and did a 50-mile January challenge raising £1200 for Maggie’s cancer centres. That inspired me to tackle new distances I’d never done before.
By the end of last year, I had managed multiple 10ks as well as two half marathon distances. This further increased my desire to go marathon distance as well as finally make that dream of running London.
I now live in North Somerset, but London was my home up until I moved here in 2012. I entered the ballot multiple times but to no success.
So, this time I tried for a charity place. I wanted to choose a charity that would inspire me to push through the training and the event on the day. I am running for the British Heart Foundation because it is a charity which means something to me, and I shall be running for my dad and grandad.
I never met my grandad as he passed away before I was born. Unfortunately, he collapsed at work one day due to his heart and never came home again at the age of 47.
My dad went into hospital at the start of the pandemic in 2020 for a routine check on a cough and it led to him being kept in for an emergency triple heart bypass, most likely saving his life. Scary but he's made a fantastic recovery and now is fitter than ever!
But it shows me how vital heart research is and how vital it is to raise funds for such an amazing cause! It can be life saving for loved ones and if this research was around many years ago maybe I would have been lucky enough to meet my grandad.
So that's my reasons for taking on this challenge, in the memory of my grandad and in honour of my dad who was lucky enough to make a recovery and still be here to tell the tale. But, most importantly to raise that vital charity money which could go towards saving so many other people's family and loved ones.