This year, 125,000 people applied for a Virgin Money London Marathon place via the ballot. However some people already had their places sorted, people who attained places directly from a charity. These people pledge to raise a certain amount in exchange for their marathon place and one such runner is Thomas Winkler.
Tom tells us “I’m not a natural born athlete and have never really been gifted with any sporting ability. I stand at around 6ft 7 and back in January topped the scales at 17 Stone 10 lbs, I decided things needed to change.” Tom began running and, after running his first 5k in a time of 36 minutes, decided on a challenge 8 times as far as that: the Virgin Money London Marathon. When asked why he chose this event, he said “It’s something some people have said that I would never be able to do, so I am proving them wrong and hoping to do it in style!”
Each year, various charities throughout the UK are given Virgin Money London Marathon places to give to their fundraisers. It was the charity Shelter which provided Tom with his place. Shelter is a charity which works with people who struggle with bad housing or homelessness. They give advice and support to those struggling, campaign to combat the root causes and train people to help with all the issues surrounding homelessness. Tom says “I chose Shelter as my charity to run for because I couldn’t bare to think of someone having housing issues, especially a family! A home is where the heart is, every one deserves that!”
Tom’s training is going well, he has taken part in various competitions including a Tough Mudder and he’s been keeping a blog to keep people up to date with his progress. When asked if he was missing anything, Tom said “Yes, a lie in! I get up and train every day before work and often after work as well! The race will be tough but knowing that every step I take is one closer to the finish will keep me going.”
You can support Tom by visiting his Virgin Money Giving page.