Why I am running the London Marathon
Our very own Dave Hursthouse, Assistive Technology Project Manager at Hill House, will be donning his running shoes and taking on the London Marathon. Dave shares why he will be running for us this year.
I’ve been doing sports adventure challenges for 13 years now. This will be my twelfth marathon, but my first time at the London Marathon, so I’m super excited!
I’ve actually been trying to get a place in the London Marathon for years, but the ballot is like winning the lottery. There are about 457,000 applicants each year, and only 40,000 people get to race, so I couldn’t be happier.
Why am I running?
Running for Leonard Cheshire is close to my heart for so many reasons. I work in the Assistive Technology team at Leonard Cheshire. The majority of the work we do is funded by charitable donations. I figured I needed to put my money where my mouth is and ask people to sponsor me so we can continue carrying out the life-changing work we do.
The work we do in Assistive Technology will be the future of social care, which is why it’s so important. We are helping people who are nonverbal by giving independence and expressive communication.
Assistive technology is the future
We are currently working with a resident who acquired Locked-in Syndrome after an accident. Locked-in Syndrome affects the nervous system and results in paralysis. So the only expressive communication they have is the ability to blink.
We’ve set up a computer that uses eye gaze technology to support them. They can use this computer to talk and operate environmental controls such as lights, windows, doors, fans, TV and radio. But what people can forget is that identity is a huge part of a person’s life. So, we used a voice banking service to create a regional accent for the voice settings in their computer to make it feel more personal.
We couldn’t do this work without people’s donations, and that’s why I’m running the marathon this year.
It's going to be an emotional day
I’ve run a lot of marathons, including ultra-marathons and the Ironman Triathlon race, so I’ve done a lot of training over the years. I believe there’s no real better training for running than running!
It can be difficult at times to get yourself out there, especially when it’s raining or, in some cases snowing, but it’s all about endurance. I’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t do it, there becomes a difference between endurance and enjoyment on the day.
Since this will be my first time running the London Marathon, I’m going to make sure I soak up every minute of it. My family and friends will be there to support me on the day, which is great. Although I tend to get very emotional when crossing the finish line and have a bit of a reputation for crying, so watch this space!