James Holman is gearing up for the London Marathon on 22 April – the penultimate event in his 11 marathon challenge – to raise money for the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB).
James, 51, has joined Team RNIB to give something back to the charity which has supported his grandfather and older brother.
James’s grandfather lost his sight and spent his last years in the charity’s care home in Harrogate. His brother has an incurable genetic condition called X linked juvenile retinoschisis which led to him being registered blind last year. It’s a condition that James also has, and he acknowledges that he may also one day need RNIB’s support.
Having started running in 2014 to improve his health and fitness, James went on to run the Yorkshire Marathon – his first marathon – in October 2016. From there, his love of running has grown and a year later, James kick-started his 11 marathon challenge, running the York Marathon in October 2017 in four hours.
The challenge will culminate in James running the Liverpool Marathon on 20 May, by which time he expects to have covered over 1,000 miles in races and training runs.
I was quite sporty when I was younger, but I was never into running. That all changed in my forties when I took up running to help get fit and lose some of the extra weight I was carrying. I started out running a couple of 10k races in 2015, then a couple of half marathons in 2016 before stepping up to tackle 26.2 miles.
I wanted to run the London Marathon so I decided to build a challenge around it, helping me to train and fundraise. The support provided by RNIB to both my grandfather and brother has inspired me to run for them to say thank you and give something back.”
When the weather is half decent there is nothing better than getting out for a run, but the British weather doesn’t make training easy. I hope to finish inside four hours, but the main aim is to take in the atmosphere and enjoy it – it’s perhaps a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Lizzi Wagner, RNIB Senior Challenge Events Manager, said:
It’s great to hear that we’ve been able to help James’s brother since he lost his sight. And James taking on the London Marathon for RNIB in our 150th year is a lovely way to say thank you.
The money James raises will enable us to continue to help people living with sight loss to face the future with confidence, so please dig deep and support his fundraising efforts.
James hopes to cross the finish line in under four hours, and has already raised over £3,000 for RNIB with plans to raise even more.
To help James reach his fundraising target and support RNIB, please donate at www.justgiving.com/10maras4rnib