This is a short piece about the challenge taken on by Tom Dell (senior athlete) age 25 great road runner, cross country and Ridgway team member.
Please note that I did not write this, but after reading this you may want to support him. The club has helped with young and older athletes who have had mental health issues and this charity are all the more important during this pandemic.
He has now raised £12,811.00 with 594 donations.
Pat Card – VOAAC Members Secretary
“On Saturday I had the privilege of joining Tom for day 9 of his incredible, some might say the ridiculous challenge of running the marathon distance every day for the entire month of January. Yes, 31 marathons in 31 days, just saying it seems ludicrous.
Having got to know Tom over several years, I understand he is a kind, considerate and smart guy. Somehow I have missed the fact that he is a certified lunatic.
As far as witnessing Tom’s efforts yesterday, let me be clear, I was supporting him on a bike.
I have witnessed Tom running in many races over recent years, including him completing the London Marathon in around 2 hours 40 minutes. I know what a smooth elegant runner he is and how he glides over the road like an accomplished ice skater effortlessly moves around an ice rink.
It was, therefore, a bit of a shock as we started out yesterday to see how his running gait had changed to a much shorter stride and a pace, which in comparison appeared so painfully slow.
That it was painful for Tom, I have no doubt, he has had Achilles and knee issues from very early on in his brave quest and on Saturday he had a groin problem which he had to stop for on a few occasions. However, slow by most people’s standard it was clearly not as he banged out a full marathon in 3 hours 45mins.
As we started to rack the miles up it became clear that Tom’s efforts and some of the high profile media attention he has started to get is paying dividends.
Cars drivers giving a friendly toot and wave and random cyclists shouting efforts of encouragement e.g. “Keep it up” and “good luck”, left us in no doubt that word was spreading and these simple gestures, noticeably lifted Tom’s mood.
Our route took us back to Cuddington, where Tom currently lives with around 3K still to run. This was achieved with 500m laps of the local sports field. While Tom pressed on, I dumped the bike and cycling kit and commenced running the circuits, determined to complete my 26.2 miles.
As I started out Tom was around 250m ahead of me. I knew he would catch me but did not expect him to do so before I had finished my first lap.
The man is a machine and I reiterate that it really was a privilege and a pleasure to join him on Saturday.
For those interested, Tom was interviewed by Amanda Holden for Heart FM on Friday and has also been on BBC South today and 3counties radio. (you may have tuned in).
Remember this is not some celebrity doing a high profile challenge, with a support vehicle in tow and sports therapists and nutritionists on tap. This is an ordinary (though some might question that) lad doing something extraordinary, working around his day job.
The pain that Tom is putting himself through is to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.
For those that can and wish to, you can donate to Tom’s fundraiser via the link below.
You can watch his daily progress and his live updates on Instagram