Shropshire man’s New York Marathon success
Ian Comerford, from Market Drayton in Shropshire, successfully completed the gruelling New York Marathon on Sunday 4th November, 2018, raising over £1,500 for disabled children in the process.
Ian, aged 39, admits that he’s not a natural runner and says that injuries to his Achilles tendons before the race made the 26.2 mile challenge extremely difficult.
“Damaging both tendons ahead of the marathon meant that I had to limit my training runs to just five miles at a time,” said Ian. “I topped up my exercise with rowing and cross training to ensure that I was still fit enough on a cardiovascular level.
“On the day of the race I simply opted to take the pain and I found that concentrating my thoughts on the charity that I was supporting, helped me to get through it.”
Ian, a managed solutions specialist, chose to raise funds for Caudwell Children because of the practical and emotional support the charity gives to disabled children and their families across the UK.
“I discovered Caudwell Children a number of years ago and I’ve completed the London and Paris marathons to raise funds for them,” explained Ian. “When I looked at the great work that they were doing supplying specialist equipment, therapies, treatments and fully supported holidays to disabled children, I was truly humbled and felt compelled to fundraise for them.”
The way that Caudwell Children operates also contributed to Ian’s choice in supporting the charity. He said: “Caudwell Children is unique in that all the running costs are covered by a generous benefactor so every single penny I raise goes to the children that they support.
“Nothing goes towards the electric bill, the staff Christmas party, or salaries, which gives me real confidence when people are sponsoring me.”
Despite his injury problems Ian completed the race in a respectable 5:48:54 and says that he enjoyed the challenge. As he explained: “I’ve been a martial arts and gym goer since I was very young, but I’ve never incorporated running as I really don’t like it.
“However, I’m a big believer in growth only coming from outside of a person’s comfort zone so I try to do things that challenge me, both mentally and physically.
“And the New York Marathon certainly did that.”
Ian, along with his partner Nipa Soni, has raised over £1,500 for Caudwell Children and the cash is still coming in. “It’s fantastic that we’ve had this support,” Ian enthused. “But I now want to encourage others to run on behalf of Caudwell Children.
“I believe that with the right attitude and preparation anyone can finish a marathon.
“As in life it’s not about how fast you complete it, but the feeling of pride when you get to the end, in the knowledge that despite the pain you kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward.
“I know Caudwell Children have charity places available for the Virgin Money London Marathon, in 2019, and I’m hoping that my story can inspire people to register for those places.
“To run for such a remarkable charity is a truly memorable experience and with only 20,000 runners, from over 400,000 applicants, securing London Marathon places there must be many disappointed runners out there who would snap up one of their places.”
Kerrie Davies, Associate Director of Events at Caudwell Children, praised Ian’s determination to finish the race. She said: “Ian’s lung busting, sinew stretching, effort to raise money for Caudwell Children was truly inspirational.
“His commitment, dedication, and willingness to put his body through the pain barrier, in support of disabled children, has to be admired and on behalf of the children that we support I’d like to say a massive ‘Thank You’ to him.
“I can promise you that there is no greater feeling than crossing that finishing line, the sense of achievement is undeniable.
“However, knowing that you have raised vital funds to deliver therapies, treatments, equipment and fully supported holidays to disabled children is an even greater legacy.
“I’d encourage anyone who wants to take part in the iconic London Marathon to register for one of our charity places now, to avoid disappointment.”
You can still sponsor Ian by visiting his Just Giving page here.
You can register for a Caudwell Children London Marathon charity place here.