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Richard Rees

London Marathon '19 - Race Against Parkinson'

Challenge complete

Fundraising for this challenge has ended so we're no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who supported this challenge.

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]I am a junior neurologist, currently doing research into the earliest stages of Parkinson's disease, in a groundbreaking study made possible by Parkinson's UK. This has been a dream of mine, having grown up with a grandfather who had Parkinson’s, and always dreaming of doing something that could prevent the disease. I have continued to see people with Parkinson’s in specialist clinics in and around London, and regularly see people at all the stages of Parkinson’s.[/p][p]Parkinson's is therefore quite a big part of my life, but this is nothing compared to someone who has been diagnosed, or someone who's loved one has been diagnosed. I have seen first hand how this condition changes not just one person's life but a whole network of people, forever. I also know how much support Parkinson's UK gives people around the UK. More than that, I and many other researchers can only get us all closer to a cure, through the funding that Parkinson's UK provides. Together, we will reach a cure.[/p][p]This funding and support is only possible by generous donations. Your donation. I am weaving together another part of my life, running, to raise as much money as possible. I promise to work hard: in clinic, in my academic work, and with my running shoes on. I am aiming not just to run in the London Marathon, but to smash my previous record of 3:19 and run it in under 3 hours, putting me in the top 5% of finishers.[/p][p]Each donation I receive will spur me on through the cold winter months to work hard and play hard. So please, dig deep and give generously.[/p][p]Follow my training progress on [url=https://www.strava.com/athletes/rnrees]Strava[/url].[/p][p]Follow the study [url=http://www.predictpd.blogspot.com]blog[/url].[/p][p]______________________________[/p][p]29/04/2019[/p][p]I've only gone and bloody done it!! I set myself two really tough goals: to raise over £3000 for Parkinson's UK and to run the marathon in under 3 hours.[/p][p]My PB for running was 3:19, at the 2015 London Marathon. Since Christmas day I've run 793 miles. Today I beat my best by 28 minutes - finishing in 2:51. I didn't just beat my target, I smashed it.[/p][p]I'm so grateful to all the support I've been given. I'm particularly grateful for all those who have sponsored me so generously - I've smashed that target too. This week I'm seeing two participants in the PREDICT-PD study - and this reminds me how vital the fundraising is.[/p][p]What does it take to run a marathon in 2:51?[/p][p]1) Intelligent training. I asked a friend who's PB was 3:02 how he did it - he said buy "Advanced Marathoning" by Pete Pfitzinger and Ryan Hall - I couldn't agree more.[/p][p]2) Dedication. Since Christmas day I have run 793 miles over 98 hours 51 mimutes, climbed 11.4km, burned 75283 calories.[/p][p]3) Purpose. With temperatures below freezing, and winds strong enough to blow me sideways, I've needed something to push me through. Working on Parkinson's research; helping people with Parkinson's every week in clinic; knowing the personal side of Parkinson's and wanting to raise as much as possible has helped. Setting myself a target that I genuinely didn't know if I could achieve also helped.[/p][p]4) Support. I cannot thank Jessica, Lyla and Noah enough. Not only have they schlepped across London for the Landmarks Half and the London Marathon to see me at multiple locations, they've spent those same nearly 99 hours without me. Jessica has been a "runners' widow" while I've been pounding the pavement, and then stretching and foam rolling and the rest. And from so many of you, for your really generous donations. Each time I get a 'Great news - you've been sponsored' email from Virgin Money Giving, I got a little boost, and these have added up - to nearly £3,500 at time of writing.[/p][p][br][/p][p]______________________________[/p][p]28/10/2018[/p][p]Before I had a place in the marathon confirmed, I signed up for the Wimbledon Half marathon to act as a benchmark of where I was with my fitness and how far I might have to go. [/p][p]I'm delighted that I finished in 1:25:39, and came 11th overall. This means that so long as I can maintain that pace or even drop as much as 15-20 seconds per mile in the second half of the marathon, I'm genuinely looking at under 3:00[/p][p]______________________________[/p][p]01/01/2019[/p][p]Happy New Year! [/p][p]I had a miserable end to 2018, with the flu and pneumonia that knocked all the build up training I'd done over the autumn into the long grass. However, my training programme began in earnest on Christmas day, and I've now put 42 miles under my belt, including a lovely 12 mile run along the Thames last Sunday. [/p][p]2019 is off with a bang, with 8 miles and a speed session at the end. I'm excited about the 800 miles I'll be running between now and race day. [/p][p]Thanks so much for your support.[/p][p]______________________________[/p][p]24/03/2019[/p][p]London Landmarks Half Marathon[/p][p]In my build up to the London Marathon, I wanted a 'B' race - to tune up, remember what its like to run on closed roads with people around me as well as supporters, and hopefully, give myself a confidence boost.[/p][p]The run had over 12,000 runners and thousands of spectators. It was really well organised and had a lovely, albeit *very* twisty route, running from Pall Mall, to St Pauls, wiggling around central London, up to the Tower, and speeding down the Embankment to the finish line on Whitehall. The weather was perfect - dry, sunny and bright, but not too warm.[/p][p]My aim was to beat my PB that I set in October, ideally getting a time of under 1:25.[/p][p]I made my way to near the start line, and set off, keeping close on the heels of someone for the first 11 miles. He was just a smidgen faster than me, which kept me pushing to keep with him, and afforded me the benefit of someone to draft behind when the wind picked up.[/p][p]I knew I was finishing tired, but strong. I crossed the finish line in 1:21:07. I couldn't believe it when I found out that I was 13th overall. I'm really proud of my effort, and delighted with my time. I don't think I could have gone any faster, but feel positive about my ambition of breaking 3 hours for the marathon.[/p][p]Wish me luck (and sponsor me generously!!)[/p][p][br][/p][p]______________________________[/p][p]24/04/2019[/p][p]4 more days to go![/p][p]This evening I'll go to the marathon Expo to pick up my runner number, which I'll affix to my Parkinson's UK vest at home. I'll be planning the spots for my incredibly supportive wife and children to cheer me on from. I'll be running my last 'tune up' run: only 7 miles with a couple at race pace. The most important thing now is not to get injured and to turn up refreshed and rested.[/p][p]On 22nd April last year I ventured into London in the afternoon, and saw so many runners with medals around their necks; exhausted but elated. I told myself that this year would be my year. To say I'm excited is an understatement. I'm prepared, I'm ready. I'm looking forward to the chance to prove to myself what I'm capable of, and to reap the fruits of months of labour. [/p][p]I'm also so humbled that so many of you have sponsored me. Truthfully I was daunted by the promise of raising the minimum of £2000 for Parkinson's UK. I've now changed my goal to £3000 (to match my target of sub-3:00). This money, and the visibility that it helps create, literally changes lives. Thank you.[/p][p][img][/img][/p]
London Marathon '19 - Race Against Parkinson' image 1
London Marathon '19 - Race Against Parkinson' image 2
London Marathon '19 - Race Against Parkinson' image 3

Share Richard's story


May 5, 2019

Mel Joe

Fantastic achievement for a fantastic cause.

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

May 3, 2019


Apr 30, 2019


You total superstar, you absolutely smashed it!!! Congratulations! All our love, Hannah & Jonnie, Maya & Remi xx

£25.00 plus £6.25 Gift Aid

Apr 30, 2019


Well done. Fantastic effort!

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Apr 30, 2019

Natalie Grazin

Have been following your marathon journey with awe, amazing achievement to go sub-3hours, kol hakavod

£30.00 plus £7.50 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Patrick Wyatt

Dude. The boy done good!

£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Ian the new patient

Well done and good luck with your research.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Peter Goffin

Great work Rich!

£5.00 plus £1.25 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Liz and Pete

Congratulations Rich! Fantastic time for a great cause

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Apr 29, 2019

Clare Whitworth and family

Congratulations on a fantastic achievement.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid