“I’m going into the unknown”

Name: Kieron Stubbings
Occupation: Lorry driver
Marathons completed: 0
Running 2020 London Marathon for charity? Yes, AGSD.

When his partner was diagnosed with Pompe, a rare degenerative muscle disease, Kieron Stubbings (@stubbings78) decided he wanted to do something to raise awareness of the condition. Having secured a place in the public ballot, he’s taking on the 2020 London Marathon and hoping to fundraise £2,500 for charity AGSD (The Association for Glycogen Storage Disease).

Kieron, who in his own words is a “20-stone lorry driver”, admits he’s no athlete. “I’m absolutely starting from scratch,” he tells us.

“I’m going into the unknown, I never even run to the shops before. I used to get out of breath going up a flight of stairs.” Having felt like he was “going to die” after his first run in October, he’s making good progress in his training. “I think I’ve come a long way, I hope I’ve got enough strength mentally to get the race done.”

He adds: “I’ve got a routine going. I do a 5K on a Monday, a 10K on a Wednesday and then on my day off, I will get my long run in.” Running regularly with a friend, he’s now able to cover 16 miles and enjoys covering the miles around Leigh-on-Sea.

“I’ve lost just over a stone,” he tells us. “And I’m hoping to lose another by marathon day. That’s with training, changing my diet…I’m not taking it too seriously but I realise that I have to watch what I eat.”

Like many people training for the London Marathon, Kieron recognises that the challenge is as much mental as it is physical. “When I’m struggling a little bit on a run, I try and focus on why I’m doing it,” he says. “I don’t want to let people down. A lot of the training is mental, that’s what I’ve felt. If you can get over the mental block, especially when things are going hard that’s key.”

Kieron has also found that being part of an online running community is helping him stay motivated. He’s a big advocate of Strava and says he stays in touch with people of similar ability via Facebook. Seeing their progress motivates him.

“You get addicted to how well you’re going,” he admits. “Monday night was my biggest achievement so far, I’ve been aiming to get 10K done in less than an hour and I’ve been working and working and working on it. I cracked it on Monday night. I came in at 57 minutes. I was really chuffed with that.”

We’ll be checking in a few more times with Kieron and our fellow O.R.S sponsored runners, Ashley and Sophie, as they get closer to race day. You can follow their progress on our social channels.