Great community feeling for runners

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Mark Pedder from Houghton Regis is getting ready for the Love Luton half marathon.

Here the 41 years old lecturer in Adult Nursing at University of Bedfordshire talks of his love of running and why he took on Sunday’s London Marathon.

What attracted you to running?

I was first attracted to running when working at Keech Hospice and my good friend Wendy had just run the London Marathon for them. She inspired me to give it a go and I was successful in gaining a charity place for the hospice and ran my first marathon at London in 2008 and have never looked back since.

How long have you been running?

I have been running for 10 years and run regularly with the great running club Dunstable Road Runners. I enjoy taking part in many different distance race’s such as our club’s own challenge event but also well organised local race’s such as the Love Luton Half Marathon which is every October.

How long have you been in training for the London Marathon?

I have been training for this since Christmas.

Are you running for any charity?

I am running for the brilliant charity the Willow Foundation. This amazing charity helps to organise special days for seriously ill young adults from ages 16 to 40 years old. Myself and a few friends are running in memory of our dear friend Lisa who sadly passed away in February this year.

People have been generously donating which is fantastic. Our fund raising page is: virginmoneygiving.com/SparkyandCahalLondonMarathon2017

What would you say to anyone who was thinking of taking up running and a marathon?

I would say that personally running has brought so much into my life such as confidence to succeed and also gained me some lifelong special friends. Running is a very friendly community as you can clearly see at the local parkrun at wardown park in Luton every Saturday morning.

Running creates a great atmosphere whenever you meet other runners. Everybody encourages you regardless if you are an experienced runner or just starting out.

How do you cope when or if you hit the ‘wall’?

Everybody dreads the wall but when I have hit it before I think about how far I have ran so far rather than focus on how long I have left. Sometimes it helps to think of your favourite song to push you on or think of the reason you are running which hopefully will help you over the last few miles. There are no words to explain the amazing rush of emotions when you cross the finish line. It is immense and you get a nice shiny medal for your trouble.

Never be afraid of running if you have never attempted before. We all started in the same place. There is plenty of help available to get you started. Our club will be starting a beginner’s group very soon. If interested in taking up running keep checking our web page: http://www.dunstableroadrunners.org