St Albans man’s April Fool: Four marathons in fourth month of 44th year to raise £4,000 for charity

Gary Thorpe at the London Marathon last year. Picture: Submitted by Gary Thorpe

Gary Thorpe at the London Marathon last year. Picture: Submitted by Gary Thorpe - Credit: Archant

A brave St Albans runner is celebrating his 44th birthday by trying to raise £4,000 doing four marathons in the fourth month of the year.

Gary Thorpe at the London Marathon last year. Picture: Submitted by Gary Thorpe

Gary Thorpe at the London Marathon last year. Picture: Submitted by Gary Thorpe - Credit: Archant

Starting in April, Gary Thorpe is going to complete a different marathon each week - the Greater Manchester Marathon, Brighton Marathon, the Virgin Money London Marathon, and The Enigma Easter Series in Milton Keynes.

He wants to raise a total of £4,000 for the Leonard Cheshire Disability and Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) - the latter after learning about their work last year.

Gary coined the challenge his April Fool. He said: “Last year I has lucky to get into the London Marathon with the ballot so I ran it for the official charity, the TCT, and while doing that I learnt so much about what they do and so I thought I would raise some more.”

TCT says it is the only UK charity providing young people with specialist cancer care.


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The 2018 London Marathon was the hottest on record, and Gary ran it much slower than he would have liked.

His total time, combined with helping a fellow runner for the last nine miles, was about 5 hours and 40 minutes.

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Batchwood resident Gary said: “It felt good but I thought I could have done it quicker.

“It was hot, horribly hot, compared to all the training that we went through in the cold. To turn up in London for the hottest London Marathon ever it was a bit annoying and there is a bit of unfinished business there.

“My training is happening now. It is slowly getting more and more daunting as it gets closer. I’m wondering what I have signed myself up for.”

The April Fool idea “seemed to make sense at the time”, Gary quipped.

He started running a couple of years ago after a serious knee injury meant he could not play football. However, before the London Marathon last year Gary had only run 10ks and half marathons.

The Leonard Cheshire Disability charity support disabled people to live, learn and work as independently as they choose. Find out more at www.leonardcheshire.org/Visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/ to find out more about TCT.

Donate to Gary’s April Fool at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aprilsfool44 or uk.virginmoneygiving.com/grrrroooooovvvy

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