I'm suddenly feeling a bit emotional at the thought of running a marathon on Sunday.
I've run this marathon twice before, so I'm not intimidated by the distance and I know I've put the hard work into my training. I've run the hard yards through a pretty brutal and relentless winter and know that I've earned my place at the start of what looks like it might be the hottest London Marathon on record (typical, right? You train through the Beast from the East and end up running in a heatwave).
I'm feeling emotional because I've been humbled again by the generosity of the people donating money on our fundraising page. Our friends, family and lots of total strangers have been dipping their hands into their pockets and have nudged us towards a fantastic total -- currently over £7,000 before gift aid. The MS Trust is a fairly small charity, but the impact that they have on the lives of people with multiple sclerosis and their families is massive. I was attending an MS clinic the other day, and the nurse that I saw was trained by the MS Trust (many others are also partly funded by the Trust), and the leaflets I was given to help me with some important decisions were funded and produced by the MS Trust. The money that we raise here will make a genuine difference.
As usual, I've deployed my tired old sob story in an attempt to emotionally blackmail people into donations. In 2016 I was an official London Marathon blogger, but this time around, my story was picked up by the Daily Mirror and run both online and in the printed edition. This has been more than a little surreal, not least because the bottom 25% of the page I'm featured on tells the story of someone running the marathon without functioning kidneys.
As well as helping me give people another nudge towards our donation link, this sort of exposure is so important for the charity in helping them to increase their reach. It was a little weird to see myself in a mass circulation tabloid, mind. They describe me as "fun loving Tim", possibly because I'm wearing a tutu.
I'm obviously not shy about deploying my story like this, but it's strange to see people talking about how remarkable I am, how my PB is "Brilliant" (well, I'm hoping to beat it this year, for starters...weather permitting). I don't feel particularly inspiring or amazing.
I mostly just feel lucky.
My race number for Sunday is 24120. Look out for the tall, skinny chap in a blue tutu.
You can sponsor us here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/TCK