For me, two of the most important parts to a successful fund-raising event is supporting something you are passionate about and doing something others wouldn’t.
Throughout my professional career, there are certain times of the year where you find yourself writing about the same thing.
It might be an annual summer or Christmas fair, the Balsham Plough Monday, just over into Cambridgeshire, was another.
Wel,l ever since I was a cub reporter at the Haverhill Echo, I have spent time in March and maybe early April writing about local London Marathon entries.
I am delighted to say that this year has been no different.
From a lady in Lowestoft who is defying doctor’s orders to take part to a guy in Basildon who has heartbreakingly been forced to pull out just a few days ago due to injury.
Then there is my wonderful friend and long-term colleague, Gina Long and her running partner, Lisa Lumley. More on them shortly.
Going back to my fund-raising ‘top tips’, they are all doing something I couldn’t.
I have seen bits of almost every marathon for the last 20 years or so and it is clearly an ‘event’ more than a race. It is something you get swept up in as heart-warming cheers from strangers on the street get you around the gruelling 26.2 miles.
I am sure it is something quite incredible. I could blame my aging knees as a reason why I could never do it – and I would certainly be more ‘Run Fat Boy Run’ than ‘Marathon Man’.
But I actually feel it is more than that. To run a marathon, actually to train for a marathon in the first instance, takes great determination, sacrifice and commitment.
You need to want to do it, almost more than anything, and be willing to put parts of your life on hold for a good few months.
While it is true that I would love to take another big charity challenge, I once took part in the awe-inspiring Three Peaks Challenge, I am still looking for the right one.
So instead I will use the 100 or so words left in this column to pay a very big tribute to all of Sunday’s runners, taking part for whatever reason and for whatever incredible cause.
I am proud to have worked alongside Gina for many years and I know how much energy she puts into organising some unbelievable charity events.
What I didn’t realise quite so much is how much inner resolve she has when it comes to putting her own body through the pain barrier.
She will run for Sarcoma UK, and use her daughter Ali as inspiration. But it is Gina and Lisa and the 50,000-plus runners who line up on Sunday morning who are an inspiration to me.