John Atkinson

John Atkinson

Running the London Marathon 2020 - Not 2019

Supporting

Total raised so far£0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Target£0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p] [b][u]April 2019 update:[/u][/b][/p][p] Well, I have been absolutely blown away and truly inspired by watching yesterday's London Marathon and just seeing all of the amazing runners, supporters, marshals and basically the whole organisation behind the event; it has made me feel compelled in to giving a quick update on here with me feeling re-enthused and extremely excited at the prospect of taking part in such an amazing event when it comes around again this time next year.[/p][p] Firstly, I want to congratulate all of the Meningitis Now team who took part, especially my friend Mark Selby, who posted an incredible time of 3hrs 41mins yesterday. I would like to go on record right now Mark to say that I will not be challenging your time in any way, shape or form next year. In fact, it is safe to say that simply crossing that finish line in one piece will be my ultimate aim but as that was my sole aim this year it would seem that I am better off simply not joking about injuries or anything potentially not working properly and just crack on again with the training! The operation that was needed on my knee which put pay to my involvement in this year's event took place last month and everything that was needed to be done was done and done well by all accounts so with a bit of rest and physiotherapy, I'd like to think that I'm just about back in a position where I can look to get more active once again!![/p][p] Anyway, partly with this in mind, I decided to launch a new 'Running Club' at school today which was attended by about 80 children (as well as some parents) and by the end of it I came away feeling once again inspired (and very tired) but this time by all of the children, their determination, their efforts and their smiles!! I know it is going to be a hugely popular and successful club during this Summer Term and I will continue to encourage more children and adults to simply get outside and get active, especially with the better weather hopefully here - on and off I'm sure - over these next few months. Club's like this one, however, also serve as a very painful reminder for me as to the main reason as to why I took up this challenge in the first place. Edward losing his life to Meningitis, when he was such a fit and active young boy, only highlights and reinforces the tragedy that can occur from such a devastating illness and the need for everyone to be vigilant and fully aware of the signs of both Meningitis and Sepsis and the speed with which these illnesses can occur.[/p][p] So, I look forward to regaining some sort of fitness over these next few weeks with the support of a great school and its wonderful children. Here's to me getting my confirmation info through for next year's event - can't wait!!![/p][p] [b][u]February 2019 update:[/u][/b][/p][p] I can't believe that I'm only just getting round to updating my page now when it's been just over a month since I had to make the extremely difficult decision to pull out of this year's London marathon following medical advice. I think I've simply been in denial because I'm absolutely gutted that it's now not going to happen. Throughout November and December I was really struggling with my training and was awaiting some scan results on my knee due to persistent problems. Then when I finally received the results it was not good news and the advice I received was to basically have an operation to mend a few bits that seemed a tad broken?! [/p][p] When I contacted Kirsty at Meningitis Now, even before I knew the results of my scan but when I was concerned about what to do, she was just brilliant and I can't thank her enough for her understanding and support. It helped me to make my final decision in that it was best to let somebody else give the race a much better go than I ever could whilst I look to get myself in a better position to hopefully attempt it in the future. With this in mind, Kirsty also reassured me that I could have a place next year if I managed to get myself right to run the marathon, without injury, and she would happily welcome me on the team once again. [/p][p] So, I just really want to thank Kirsty and everyone who has sponsored me to date and reassure you all that your money will now be put towards next year's total as I have every intention to enter again.[/p][p] I received my operation date just this weekend and it looks as though I'll be going under the knife early March so the next update will likely be about how I'm feeling post-operation with a view to getting my running shoes on again as soon as possible. In the meantime, I plan to continue to support Meningitis Now and all they do over the coming months. [/p][p] I'd like to give a special mention to my good friend Mark Selby who was supposed to be my running mentor and is also part of the Meningitis Now team and yet he will now be going it alone in 2019! Please support Mark and all those who will be taking on this year's challenge and if any of them are crazy enough to try and do it again in 2020 then I hope very much that I'll be running alongside them next year!![/p][p] [b][u]Original Post (September 2018):[/u][/b][/p][p] Ok ... where to begin?! I've known for a little while now that this challenge I'm undertaking has been on the cards and yet I've been putting off adding to the 'My Story' section and sharing my fundraising page with you all for a couple of reasons:[/p][p] 1) Part of me thinks … what on earth am I doing bearing in mind my body, pretty much since turning 40, has slowly seemed to be falling apart with a new ache or pain never far away, so the thought of running any sort of marathon beggars belief really – the most I’ve ever run is a 10k – and there's this niggle, a niggle of considerable size, sitting at the back of my mind, telling me that something will no doubt try to prevent my body from actually doing this and therefore I shouldn't consider asking for any sort of donations until I think there's a realistic chance I can get the job done.[/p][p] 2) But really, if I'm being totally and truthfully honest, the main reason I keep putting this off is ... 'My Story', or should I say ‘Edward’s Story’, is such a hard one for me to put into words because every time I think of it, it still upsets me greatly. A year and a half on, and especially now that I’m a father of four beautiful children, I still can't truly believe the unimaginable pain it has caused one particular family who I will forever have a special bond with and who I admire more than they will ever realise for all that they have done since that tragic day in raising awareness of this terrible disease and honouring their son in the most amazing of ways.[/p][p] On 5th December 2016, Edward Dee, a young, talented, energetic and wonderfully high-spirited young boy lost his life to Meningitis. As his teacher, I had seen him start his school-life journey at the age of four and then became his teacher during his final year in the Infants when he was just 6 years old. He was clearly following in his older brother’s footsteps in that he was so very bright and clearly talented (with maybe a slightly cheekier disposition than his big brother) but he was equally as polite, well-mannered and a joy to teach. He left my class at the age of seven and headed into the Juniors with a glowing report.[/p][p] Four years later, and following a change of classes for myself, mine and Edward’s paths crossed again. The young man I was so sure he was going to grow into when he left me at the age of seven, walked into my classroom in September 2016 and proved very quickly that he was still firmly on the path towards achieving great things and I looked forward to having another year with him ahead of his move to High School.[/p][p] Edward spent that first term producing excellent work, becoming the driving force in the school football team; he continued to excel at his music and was at the centre of the majority of laughs and discussions we shared as a class in Year 6. The week before he died, he even received an award from the UK Military School (a company supporting the delivery of health and well-being within school) for being the best in the class with regards his strength, stamina, attitude and endurance. This was Edward. A hard worker, a competitor, a role-model, an athlete.[/p][p] The day of Edward’s death and the weeks that followed were the worst imaginable in a school setting. All our love, thoughts and prayers were very much with his family at such a difficult time whilst his classmates’ strength, resolve and togetherness proved truly remarkable. Speaking at Edward’s funeral was notably the proudest and yet most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my entire life.[/p][p] And so, I reflect on reason number 1) again for putting off writing this and think of everything that was said about Edward then and continues to get said about him today. I reflect on the incredibly inspiring family he has and the wonderful legacy they are creating in his name. I reflect on the fact that a day rarely goes by when I don’t think of Edward, as his trophy sits proudly on my desk at work, and I remember all of the incredible things he achieved in such a very short time. And I reflect on the fact that this year I find myself teaching Edward's younger brother, who, after only two or three weeks of being in my class, I can tell already is another remarkable young Dee following proudly in his brothers' footsteps.[/p][p] Therefore, I want to now share with you all exactly what it is I will be doing in April of next year in the knowledge that no matter what kind of pulls, pings, cramps or sprains I get between now and then, I will be running the London Marathon in 2019, I will be crossing the finish line and completing said marathon and Edward will be running with me every step of the way.[/p][p] So please, no matter how small a donation it may be, help me reach my target and help me to give a little towards all of the wonderful work that is being done to help prevent against tragedies such as this one. Your support will be hugely appreciated![/p][p] With love![/p][p] #forEdward [/p]

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Supporters


Nov 22, 2018

Anonymous

Rather you than me John, good luck you'll smash it :)

£10.00

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Sep 24, 2018

The jones family

We feel very proud to be part of such a caring and wonderful school go Clifton primary Good luck MR A We know you can do it !!!!

£10.00

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Sep 23, 2018

Andrea Burslam

Good luck John. You can do it! From Andrea, John, Rebecca, Kate and Daniel x

£10.00

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Sep 22, 2018

Amanda dainty & Arla

Fantastic MR A...Edward and Clifton will be with you every step of the way ...go you !

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Sep 21, 2018

Denise Johnson

Incredible story for a truly incredible young man, all the very best of luck to you!!

£10.00


Sep 21, 2018

Emma Mark Charlie Joe and Franklin Barnes

So PROUD of you for doing this and you're so right Edward will be with you every step of the way with his cheeky comments to keep you going.

£10.00

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Sep 21, 2018

Anonymous

£20.00

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Sep 21, 2018

Anonymous

Such a worthy cause , you will no doubt achieve it ! I ran last year in aid of prostate cancer , believe me if I can do it , you can ! Debbie. All the best John , Debbie , Nat and Ellie Francis

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Sep 20, 2018

Rachel Snowden

I can’t make my mind up, your either really amazing or a little bit crazy! Good Luck xXx

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Sep 20, 2018

Jay Stansfield

You can do it!

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