With the Brighton, London and Greater Manchester marathons around the corner, running season is officially in full swing.
We asked a few marathon fundraisers for their advice to anyone facing the challenge for the first time.
First up is Stuart Rose. Stuart was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) at the age of 15. Last year he took part in the Loch Ness marathon. He’s also run the Inverness half marathon twice. When he was first diagnosed with MS seven years ago, this was something he “never thought possible”. So far, he’s raised £6,373 for the MS Society Scotland.
Why did you start fundraising?
I was very keen to raise money for the MS Society, having been diagnosed myself with MS when I was 15. So in December 2010, I decided to set myself a personal challenge. In just over a year I have ran one marathon and two half-marathons.
What’s your top tip for fundraising?
I would say make sure you leave yourself plenty of time. When I signed up for my events I made sure I had enough time to train properly. I think it is very important to start your fundraising early and to spread the word as soon as possible. This will help you raise as much as you can for your charity.
What’s been your favourite part about using JustGiving?
JustGiving has helped enormously with my fundraising. I used JustGiving to collect all of my donations. It was extremely simple and it only took about two minutes to make a page. Tools that meant I could easily share my link on Facebook, Twitter and by email made it very easy to let people know about my fundraising. Also, with JustTextGiving, it was so easy to share my unique code and people could donate within seconds.
How do you keep donations coming in even after the event?
At present I have raised £6,373. A good proportion of the money was donated after the three fundraising events. I must admit, I was surprised how much money was donated after the event. I’d say keeping sending your page out and sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.
What got you through the race?
One of my favourite moments was seeing my brother at the end and him telling me that my fundraising total had gone from £4571 at the start to hitting my target of £5000 at the end. After mile 17 I really struggled and was wondering how much further I could go. I kept positive and started running again around mile 20. I felt incredible and ran the last six miles the fastest. It was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line with all my family there, some of whom had travelled a long way to see me.
Walking around with my medal on after completing a marathon really helped me finally accept my MS diagnosis – something which I had struggled with for the past seven years. I completed the Loch Ness Marathon in four hours and 58 minutes.