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Beginning my marathon journey
Post date: 1 Sep 2015

My name is Chris Gedge and I'm head of stroke at Medway Community Healthcare (MCH). 

Chris Gedge marathon

It’s been over a month since I received confirmation from MCH congratulating me on securing a place in the Virgin Money London Marathon and I am still just as excited as I was on that day. Although I have only been a runner for a short while I knew the London Marathon was something I wanted to be part of. Everyone always says ‘if you’re going to run a marathon, you have to do London. It’s the best one with an amazing atmosphere.’

I started running about three years ago when I entered the Stroke Association resolution run with my team. I chose to run the 15km course and then thought that I had better start training! I hadn't run since I was at school so I knew I had a lot of work to do. I've always enjoyed sport but I've never competed so this was something entirely new to me.

After signing up for the run, I was chatting to our office receptionist, Gill Fox, and she suggested that I signed up for parkrun. These are free, weekly, timed runs that are open to everyone and an emphasis on "social running”, they say it’s a run not a race. There is one local to me so thought I would give it a go. Off I trotted one Saturday morning to run my first 5km in quite a while. It’s safe to say that I loved it as I still go every Saturday and haven’t looked back. I even take my children with me now and have dragged along members of the stroke team too- of course thinking of their own health and wellbeing!

The parkrun’s are dotted all over Kent including Maidstone, Gillingham, Ashford, Dartford, Canterbury and Gravesend. I would encourage you all to try it but it was this that spurred me on to try a new running group which was when I came across Sweatshop in Maidstone. I went for an initial analysis to find my ideal running shoes, while I was there I found out about their own running club. As I was keen to get out more often I decided to go along to their weekly runs. I initially went every Monday on a 5km route but have now progressed to their 10km run on a Monday and Friday. My progress with the various groups inspired me to sign up for a half marathon to push myself a bit more. I've now completed four, the last one was at the end of August this year.

Since I found out that I had a place, I've roped in the help of my colleagues from around MCH. I'm going to be working with several teams, including physiotherapy, podiatry and nutrition and dietetics to make sure I'm in tip top condition for the big day.

It hasn't always been plain sailing though. I rarely play football but MCH had a "friendly” football competition and I got dragged into playing. It was all going really well, except the rest of my team were the super fit physiotherapists! Then somehow disaster struck and I was knocked down with an ankle injury (probably too much showboating!!) which meant that I also couldn't run for a while. After several weeks of rest, I was finally ready to get back into my running and start building up my fitness again.

So it’s onwards and upwards and I'm really looking forward to the challenge, soaking up the atmosphere on the day and completing something that such a small percentage of people can say that they've done. I'm especially looking forward to getting my medal at the end. A prize I will treasure.

To support Chris in his journey and raise money for Medway Cares please visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ChrisGedge

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