SUDEP Action

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Steve Hill runs London Marathon in memory of his father

I have embarked on several events for SUDEP Action in memory of my father, including climbing Kilimanjaro. However, for many years, running the London Marathon has been something I thought would really capture the attention of family and friends so that I could raise significant money and awareness for the charity.

For me, the London Marathon is the greatest race in the world. There is no other race where spectators line the entire route cheering you on every step of the way. The atmosphere is amazing, with a mixture of elite athletes, celebrities, fancy dress and charity runners. 

This was the first time I had ever attempted a marathon. Although the London Marathon is exactly 26.2 miles, I had covered around 500 miles to be ready at the start line.  I love to run, though my distance is more like 8-10 miles before I start to feel worn out. A marathon is a serious feat of endurance, so I started training just after New Year to attain the level of fitness I needed to complete the race.

Training involved running 5 to 6 times a week whatever the weather. During the week I would go out for an hour or so each evening and do fast and slow intervals uphill and downhill. These mid-week more intensive sessions helped to build endurance. I would then go out on the weekend for a long run, gradually building up the distance over the weeks.
However, with about 5 weeks to go before the marathon, I broke my rib and thought I had blown everything. With the help of professionals and my family, I managed to start running roughly 2-3 weeks before the race, which was just enough time to get my fitness back up to speed, albeit painfully.

During the race, I was under no illusion that the last 5 miles or so would draw upon all my strength. Between the 20-26 mile marks, I promised myself that I would never run a marathon again. To keep going, I began to imagine myself crossing the finish line. I started reminding myself that no matter how hard it got it would never be as hard as it is for people who deal with epilepsy related bereavement. 

Spotting my family, including my 8 week old baby, around the course cheering me on was one of the best moments and helped me keep going. I had spent so much time and energy on training that actually putting that into practice and crossing the finish line was one of the best feelings, if not a little relieving! 

To complete and have finished the London Marathon in a respectable time is something that will stay with me forever. I am also very proud to have run in aid of SUDEP Action, which is the only charity I would have contemplated running for. 

I know that the £3195 raised towards the Wearable Apnoea Detection Device (WADD) project will be well spent. I really believe that the WADD has the potential to saves lives. I informed all my sponsors about the project and they were even more pleased to know their money would go directly towards it. 

Running is very addictive so I've signed up to do it again next year. I would encourage anyone considering running the marathon in aid of SUDEP Action to do it! It will be one of the most amazing experiences you will ever take part in. Although, a little bit of advice, make sure you put the training in.

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