in

Ain’t runnin’ from myself no more

With apologies to Bey for the blog title…

The only running I tend to do is firmly in the opposite direction to my problems, but since I turned (whispers) 35, I’ve made a conscious effort to make positive changes in my life. I’ll cover them in blogs to come, but the latest change, or should that be ‘challenge’, is committing to running the Virgin London Marathon in April 2019.

In my head it’s *only* 26-and-a-bit laps around my local park, assuming the ice cream van isn’t there. I manage those three laps most weeks on my Park Run. True I spend most of those chasing after the Lycra-clad, bearded guy I sometimes see at the gym, but I stay upright, I don’t stop, I come in the top 50% of runners and (eventually) I can breathe normally again.

I’ve never particularly loved running. Running is what other people do, the ones that can wear grey to the gym and not panic about sweat patches, the lunatics that like to exert instead of extending hour after hour watching episodes of Drag Race seen numerous times before. I’m not one of those people.

So why am I volunteering to run for hours on end, braving the winter months in training, pounding the pavements in adverse weather, slotting in runs when I could be slotting in spins around the RVT?

It’s simple. This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, a global, united fight against HIV, showing support to the community, our community, to those living with HIV and in memory of those who we lost to AIDS-related sicknesses. Next year will mark the 35th year since the virus was first identified. In the entire time I’ve been alive that virus has ravaged its way to become one of the world’s most destructive pandemics in medical history.

So, to answer my earlier question. Easy. I’m running the London Marathon in aid of Terence Higgins Trust.

THT are the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, working tirelessly to help end HIV transmissions, improve sexual health, support those living with HIV and allow them to live in a world where their voices can be heard. For this year’s World AIDS Day they’re working towards zero transmission and, most importantly, zero stigma. It takes an army of people at THT to continue their amazing work, and it’s my turn and time to give back.

Without becoming one of those annoying running-types, I’ll keep you posted, I’ll no doubt post thirsty selfies on Instagram as the ice cream shed eventually begins, and, most importantly, let you know how you can help by donating in due course. For now though, it’s one last trip around the chocolate aisle.

Wish me luck, the training starts tomorrow…

Written by MarkJ

A disco-dancing, Oscar Wilde-reading, Jane McDonald ticket-holding friend of Dorothy, know what I’m saying? Usually found wearing odd socks, at a gym or in Nandos.

Why Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album is (Still) Festive AF

How to go about a gay divorce