Blind Veterans UK runners prepare for the London Marathon

17 April 2012 14:11

Members Rob Long, Iain Millard, Alan Lock and Mike Scholes, staff member Niki Kokonas and actor Lachlan Nieboer will all be running the marathon this Sunday.

Blind Veterans UK will be wishing the best of luck to the members running the 26 miles on Sunday 22nd April -  Alan Lock, Iain Millard, Mike Scholes and Rob Long.

Cenotaphs and Reunions Manager Niki Kokonas and actor  Lachlan Niebor will also be running to raise money for the charity. Read an interview with Niki below:
1. What made you decide to run the London marathon? Do you have much experience with long distance running?

I had been running a lot anyway, to keep my fitness levels up for the TA.  I got the running bug and an opportunity came up through the Army to run the London Marathon.  What better time for me, whilst I am really into running and I am not getting any younger than to go for this challenge.  I had never done a run longer than 6 miles though, so I knew I had a lot of training to do, but just didn't know how tough it was going to be.

2. How are you preparing for the run?

Running, running and more running.  I have been doing my regular 2 mile runs everyday, apart from one day in the weekend where I will do my endurance run.  From 8 miles, building up 2 miles every week until I did my last 20 mile run on Easter Friday.  It is now a matter of me doing my daily 2 mile runs, but no more endurance until the day itself as I need to rest my body.

3. What are the worst and best things about training?

As the distance gets longer, I find myself getting bored, just wanting to get it done with thinking I have another 2hrs to go yet. My body feeling just so tired from all this training, with lots of aches and pains on the way. However when I do those 2 miles extra each week, I feel more proud and a good sense of achievement.  Besides, now I can say I have run across London from West to East (Boston Manor to Walthamstow), passing Ealing, Shepherds Bush, Holland Park, Hyde Park, Camden, Regents Park, Finsbury Park, Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale along the way.

4. Which bit of the run do you anticipate being the toughest?

The last 6 miles I think will be the hardest,  After 20 miles, my muscles are going to be feeling the strain.  But I will have many crowds along the way to cheer me on and at least I know there are thousands of other runners going
through the same thing.

5. How are you planning to celebrate once you've crossed the finish line?

It may seem boring but I am just going to have a huge soak in a very hot bath to relax as much as I can.  I will have some family and friends around, so may have a huge meal together to replenish some of those calories, chatting about my experiences.

6. Why did you decide to run for Blind Veterans UK?

Of course this is a huge personal challenge for me and such an experience in life to have.  But lets not forget, I want to run so I can raise as much money as little old me can for such a worthy charity. Working at this charity for so long, I have seen for myself, just what difference this charity makes to our members' lives.  It is great to have the opportunity to be able to raise money for a charity I truly believe in.

Niki's Just Giving page: