On Sunday 23rd April 2017, David Bates from Clearswift ran the Virgin Money London Marathon, in a fantastic time of 03:47:03, fundraising for Daisy’s Dream.

Daisy’s Dream is a local Reading charity, supporting children and their families who have been affected by the life threatening illness or bereavement of someone close to them.

David’s achievement was supported by Arlington Business Park, who generously donated £1000 so David could reach his fundraising target of £4000.

We caught up with him (once he’d recovered!) to talk about his fantastic achievement….

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When did you decide to run the London Marathon?
I remember reading that the entry ballot was about to open and that it was limited to a couple of days. Next year’s ballot is open from 1st May to 5th May 2017.

What made you decide to take part in the event?
Like a lot of people, there’s usually very good reason why you’d want to take on such an challenge. My close friend and colleague of 16 years and 2 work places passed away suddenly. The impact on myself and his family was massive. I decided it would be a great way to pay tribute to him.

Have you done it before?
No, but I’d started running a few years ago to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance and caught the running bug.

When did you start training for the event?
I started training at the end of last year. I think it helped getting out and starting to train before it got too cold.

What was the hardest part of training?
Whilst the cold of the winter months and getting up early to fit the training runs in was difficult, the hardest part of training was picking up injuries. I cannot recommend enough going to a decent running shop and getting shoes that fit your alignment. A relatively small amount of money spent is worth the lack of pain from picking up injuries.

What was your main target for the Marathon?
My main focus was always about fundraising for Daisy’s Dream. A tremendous local charity who gave such amazing support for my friends family in a time when they need it most. Setting myself a target finish time however did help my focus for training and the race, even if it did go out the window towards the last few miles of the race.

Did you train whilst at work/around the park?
Clearswift is a great place to work and the Health & Wellbeing team do an amazing job of getting us active. Being in a brilliant location such as Arlington Business Park allowed me to train in a lovely environment around the lake, running and cross training with our own Bootcamps (looking forward to seeing what the gym can offer). For training runs there are a really great mix of routes nearby, along the River Kennet, around the Nature Reserves, or the hills towards Sulham Woods.

What was the best & worst thing about running the marathon?
The best thing about running the Marathon was support of the crowds and especially seeing friends and family. The smiles of the faces of the kids giving them a high five made it worth the pain. The worst thing was mental barrier of the last few miles after cramp was setting in.

How does it feel to have reached your target of £4,000?
I think I’m still slightly in shock at the total. I’d hoped to get somewhere near the target, but I had no idea of the generosity of friends, colleagues and indeed a few strangers including Arlington Business Park and is just out of this world! I’m also very grateful to a few fantastic people, who off their own backs organised a Cake Sale, Fantasy MotoGP Competition and a Car Wash event which have helped contributed towards my target.

David Bates - Cheque Presentation 25.05.2017

Was there a specific reason your target was £4,000?
I wanted to make a bit of a difference and found out that Daisy’s Dream tries to raise £400,000 to support 700 families each year. I thought that if I could raise 1% I’d be doing my small bit to help.

Will you continue to fundraise for Daisy’s Dream?
Definitely, the Team behind Daisy’s Dream are just amazing, and after meeting other amazing individuals that continue to support the charity, I’ll be doing the same. I’m yet to dream up the next challenge, but hopefully I can persuade some friends to join me.

Would you do it again?
Of course. It was an awesome experience for so many reasons. There were days when I didn’t know if I could do it, now I know that I can.

Donate to David’s fundraising page for Daisy’s Dream here.

And if you’re feeling inspired, the ballot for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018 is open from 1st to 5th May 2017. Find out more here.

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