Marathon mission for Mark

Mark CollisMark has been working for the force for over five years as a telephone investigator, and he’s recently been accepted and started training to become a full time police officer.

Alongside his busy work schedule, he’s been training for the London Marathon 2016 – his first ever marathon.

Having never really considered myself as being a runner, I’m not really sure how I got to this point. It all started with a bit of encouragement from some friends last year when they asked me to apply with them. I reluctantly did so with a “what have I got to lose” attitude and a few months later the ‘Congratulations, you’re in’ magazine dropped through my letter box!

Since then I’ve decided to run for Diabetes UK, a charity which is doing incredible work towards helping those with the disease through support and research. My fundraising page was set up to raise money for this and seeing all of the generous donations come in has given me so much motivation over the past few months.

Before I got my place, the furthest I had ran was probably about 10K so the thought of running 26.2 miles is still very daunting! Training has, on the whole, gone well and I’ve been able to run the Bedford Harriers half marathon and the Bedford Harriers Oakley 20 mile as part of it.

One of the hardest parts of training has been fitting it around shift work as nearly all of the training plans that you see are for the Monday to Friday worker and can be really difficult to fit around a shift pattern of earlies, lates and nights with two weekends off out of five. I managed to get in about two shorter runs in the week though and tried to get a longer one in on my rest days depending on where they fell. The worst week had to be when I was on nights, as I found I had no energy and very little motivation to get out of the house to get some miles in.

The thought of the marathon is still making me feel very nervous, but after running a very hilly 20 mile course recently, I’m feeling more confident than ever and can’t wait for race day.

The main thing that’s got me through all of those, dark, cold, and wet early morning training runs has been the thought of being able to raise money for such a fantastic cause and every penny raised will give me the motivation to go the distance on race day.

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