First time marathon runner takes on the Pink Lady® test

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The start of a new year is notorious for everyone upping their exercise game and this year Simon Thompson has taken the plunge and agreed to run the Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of Pink Lady®, to raise funds for Stroke Association.

The charity is a cause close to Simon’s heart after suddenly losing his father in March 2015 and he’s hoping that running dressed as a Pink Lady® apple will encourage people to dig deep for charity.

Simon hasn’t always been a keen runner, he says: “I used to hate running, especially during the weekly fell run at school.  I used to weigh 18 stone, but three years ago I lost five stone and started to exercise. A year later the weight was creeping back, so after a few drinks on New Year’s Eve I signed up to do Tough Mudder”. Simon then went on to take part in another Tough Mudder and the Great North Run, where he realised he actually enjoyed running and has since completed another half marathon.

Simon in his apple costume

“When it came to picking a charity to support there wasn't any other choice really: after a difficult year Stroke Association were very much top of my list. I lost my father very suddenly this year and have also lost a university friend as well as other family members to strokes, so it’s a cause very close to my heart. I was put in touch with Pink Lady® by my friend Bernie who ran the marathon in the Pink Lady® costume last year and as the chosen charity was Stroke Association again this year it was the perfect opportunity. Seeing Bernie run the marathon in the costume last year after she had suffered a stroke herself was a real inspiration.”

Simon explains that Bernie has been a great source of advice, having been there herself she knows exactly what's in store and her enthusiasm and excitement has really rubbed off on him. He adds, “I have a few friends who are keen runners so I’ve been getting hints and tips from them, plus my wife has been amazing, looking after the kids so I can go out for a run”.

Simon in his apple costume

Having run a half marathon in September Simon is already reasonably fit, but knows he has a long way to go before April. In preparation for the big day he’s also been working with a personal trainer at the gym, having weekly sessions to make sure he’s as prepared as can be. Simon is even enjoying getting up at 5.45am to don his trainers and head out the door for a 6 mile run before the kids wake up – true dedication!

If you would like to support Simon you can visit his Just Giving page here.


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