With the London Marathon 2022 taking place this Sunday, October 2nd, TrustATrader would like to wish our Finance Assistant Tom White all the best as he takes on the 26.2-mile race for the National Autistic Society.
“The idea of completing a marathon has been a life-long ambition,” says Tom. “One I thought that would never come to fruition, especially after failing to get into the ballot in February this year.
“Having seen friends complete the London Marathon in the past, I knew I felt envious of their achievement and experience. The idea of a marathon has always felt like the pinnacle of athletic achievement. But as a keen hockey player at a local club from the age of 17 to 30, I just knew I had no time to train for a marathon.”
Tom thought that running the London Marathon was just a distant dream until he could no longer play hockey due to an injury and the national lockdown.
“Like many people, I started to pick up running again casually during lockdown alongside my wife, Rachael, as a means to keep active, spend time outdoors, and have time away from our desks.
“Starting to feel fitter and injury-free (for the first time in 10 years!), when I saw that the 2022 London Marathon would be in October rather than the usual April, I decided to throw my hat into the ring and give myself the chance to achieve a bucket list item that I thought wouldn’t ever come around. Soon after, I started training to increase my distance from my usual 5km to the required 42km.”
Unfortunately, like many others, Tom received a rejection letter. “When the ‘Sorry you didn’t get in this time!’ email came through, I slowed down my training and started to make peace with the fact I wouldn’t be taking part.”
However, Tom wasn’t out of the running (no pun intended!) yet. “Out of the blue in late March, I received a phone call from a lovely lady called Lauren from the National Autistic Society to say that I had received a charity place in their name, and if I still wanted to, I could accept the place.”
Tom says he is extremely proud to be running for the National Autistic Society, helping to raise awareness and recognition of this amazing charity and the work they do.
“Throughout my life, I have met and worked with numerous Autistic persons, and the thing that I found the most difficult to process and understand is the general societal lack of awareness and acceptance of what Autism is and the variable way in which this neurodivergence affects people.
“Being given the chance to run to raise funds for this great charity and their efforts to support, raise awareness, and increase acceptance of the Autistic community is one I take with pride and responsibility.”
After a big resounding ‘yes’ to the charity, Tom was straight back into training that very same night, running on a high of excitement.
“I researched a suitable first-time marathon plan the week after receiving my place, attached it to my fridge and started knocking off the three weekly runs one by one, with the distance increasing each week.
“As someone who was used to team sports and hadn’t ever run more than 5km, I wasn’t sure if it was all going to be possible. But after a couple of months of commitment (mental and physical!), I found that I could comfortably achieve 15km and was feeling great about it.
“Since then, it’s been a steady increase, with one day each weekend dedicated to increasing the miles while learning how to fuel and hydrate on the go. I topped out on my plan at 22 miles (35km), absolutely shattered but feeling fantastic. A couple of physio sessions later and a tapering off, I am now ready to go, and can’t wait for the weekend ahead.
“I have been hugely humbled by the amount of physical and emotional support from family, friends and all at my work, with generous donations and words of encouragement throughout the process.”
Good luck, Tom! The TrustATrader Team are immensely proud of you and will be watching at home, cheering you on!
If you’d like to help Tom reach his target for the National Autistic Society, there’s still time to donate, visit tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/tom-white.