the next several weeks we're going to be following the progress
of a local runner who's preparing himself for the near 27 mile
challenge that is the London Marathon.
Hall, from Tewkesbury, is a PE teacher at Winchcombe School and
the London Marathon will be his first attempt. At the moment,
he's currently training hard to prepare for the physical ordeal
of running the 26.2 miles.
the past, he's often looked at the London Marathon and fancied
giving it a go but never took the plunge. This year, however,
he was inspired to enter after reading an article about the former
boxer Michael Watson.
Watson suffered brain damage in his WBO super-middleweight title
fight defeat by Chris Eubank in September 1991. After the fight,
Watson spent 40 days in a coma and Doctors initially predicted
that he would never walk again. The physical damage that Watson
sustained in the fight would have killed an individual who was
Watson refused to be defeated by his disability and he fought
to regain mobility. In 2003 he took on the massive challenge of
completing the London Marathon.
being partially paralysed, he made it around by walking two miles
in the morning and two miles in the afternoon, resting and sleeping
in a double-decker bus which accompanied him along the course.
he finished the 26.2 mile course some six days after he had originally
set out - a remarkable achievement for someone who was told by
doctors that he would never walk again.
Neil felt that if Michael Watson had the courage and determination
to tackle the London Marathon then he should do the same.
Neil's first marathon, he's been in training for it since September
2003. He's slowly been building up his stamina for long distance
hasn't been an easy task - the early dark nights over the winter
period made running on the streets difficult. It was a problem
Neil overcame by turning to the treadmill inside the gym at Winchcombe
That created its own problems in terms of boredom, with only the
wall in front of the treadmill to look at while he spent hours
these setbacks he continued to build up his stamina, gradually
increasing his distance running abilities and he now hopes everything
will be place for the marathon which takes place on April 18th.
sees the marathon as a big personal challenge but he also plans
use his endeavours to raise money for the charity Cancer Research
UK. He's also being sponsored by his school too.
He knows the marathon will be difficult but he says he's looking
forward to the challenge and he's determined to finish it:
I'm actually going to make it one way or another. If it's crawling,
I'll make it that way but I'm a little more confident now I've
got the miles under my belt.
Hall's London Marathon Diary
This week my school has organised a series of events to raise
cash for my chosen charity.
chosen Cancer Research UK because I lost my Mother to cancer twelve
years ago. I saw her go through quite a bit of suffering and I
think that if I can go through a bit of suffering on April 18th
to raise some cash for the charity, then it's for a very worthy
the cash raised will help to prevent other people from going through
that pain in the future. This cause is something that's very close
to my heart and maybe it's also something the schoolchildren can
relate to because so many families have had experience of it.
forward to the marathon, I've just heard that I'm due in school
the day after. Fortunately, the Headmaster assures me that my
classes will all be on the ground floor!
visits Neil at School
I had a slight mishap the other week when my four year old son
left his Buzz Lightyear on the stairs. The door bell went and
I charged down to answer it, stepping on Buzz. It had a devastating
effect on my training because I couldn't put my foot down for
a whole week and it was very painful.
I've recovered from that injury and I'm looking to run 18 miles
this week. Hopefully that's going to go well.
Only five weeks to go and all of a sudden I'm starting to feel
a little nervous.
did my longest run so far on Saturday, it was around 16 miles.
My legs felt a bit heavy
at the end but breathing was fine. I
still haven't mastered the running and drinking at the same time.
is going well and the school have
organised a number of activities next week to help my fundraising.
However, I'm not too
sure about the teacher in the stocks idea!
Last week was not such a great one on the training front.
I made the mistake of trying to train when not feeling too brilliant,
I got to fourteen miles and felt as though my legs had been pumped
full of lead!
I feel much better this week and hopefully it was a minor setback.
Just seven weeks to go and all of a sudden time seems to be flying
This week the emphasis has been on developing the ability to run
at faster than race pace and hold the pace for an increasing amount
idea being that when I return to running at race pace life becomes
a little easier .
Should find out tonight when I look to increase my weekly long
run to around 15 miles.
nights are getting lighter which is a big help I just hope my
legs and lungs are up to it.