St Albans athlete bidding for help after running himself ragged

Blake Vivian

Blake Vivian - Credit: Archant

One of the country’s fastest men is running himself ragged after burning through his sports gear quicker than he can afford to replace it.

St Albans athlete Blake Vivian is now considered one of the top runners in the country for his age after reaching 19th place in the RunBritain Grand Prix of 2014, a massive jump on his 123rd place in 2013. The Grand Prix consists of six races throughout the year - starting with the Vitality Reading Half Marathon and then taking on the BUPA London 10,000, Bristok 10K, Cardiff 10K, Lloyds Bank Cardiff Half and the Age UK Leeds Abbey Dash - and serves as a benchmark for rating runners.

So far this year Blake is ranked 13th, with just the Leeds event to come on November 15, so he’s already looking at a personal best.

But all of that pounding the pavements is taking its toll, and Blake, 37, is getting through a pair of trainers and set of running gear monthly.

Because these efforts are taking such a huge toll on his wallet, he is resorting to drastic measures to finance his future athletic advancements, and is looking to raise £2,000 by the end of the year to pay for running equipment and race entries in 2016 through an online crowdfunding campaign.

Blake, who works as the operations manager at Nuffield St Albans, explained: “I am now at a stage where the amount of training and races I am doing each month is wearing out my clothes and trainers as quick as I am buying them.

“I am now getting closer in age to the 40 mark so I will not be able to challenge the likes of Mo Farah and the younger generation of athletes coming through but for my age I am regarded as a UK top-performing athlete and my goal moving into 2016 and 2017 is to be ranked the best in my age group.

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“But in order to achieve that I need help from my supporters to help me cover some of the costs for new clothing and entering races. My projected outgoings for 2016 including travel to events and accommodation will be in excess of £5,000 so any additional support would be amazing.”

Blake has set up a Pledge Sport page offering different degrees of sponsorship, with packages including free personal training, the chance to design and win a unique pair of Nike racing trainers, and a personally-designed athletics training session. He has already received pledges from people who want personalised training sessions.

To get involved and help Blake keep running click here.