Simon Jackson

Q1. Which event are you training for?

Thames Path Ultra Marathon. 100km from Putney Bridge to Henley-on-Thames.

Q2. How are the preparations and training going?

It’s not until 13th September so we have little while yet. But having only ever run 16 miles before, I need to get the miles in. I did 27 miles off-road the other day so I was quite happy about that. The knees and back held up pretty good too. It’s more of a shuffle than a run though!

Q3. What is motivating you to;

A) train

I just enjoy the exercise to be honest. I run and cycle for the fun of it but always push myself. I have to be reserved when running as it can be a problem with my back.

B) do the event

I always thought I could do a marathon but decided to jump in at the deep end!

Q4. How did it come about that you’re doing this event?

Someone in Connie’s (wife and fellow participant) running club sent us a link and we when we researched it we looked at each other and thought ‘why the hell not?!’ We are training together, starting the race together but will play it by ear if we stay together during the run.

Q5. Tell us more about your training.

I just stick with the cycling, really. I cycle to work daily then do a 60 miler every weekend. I do a 10km run twice a week too but am also soon adding in a long run on the weekends. At the end of May we’re doing one half of the race route so we can familiarize ourselves with the terrain, work out what shoes to wear, landmarks to look for etc. We’ll do the other half at the end of June so we’ll have covered the whole route prior the big day.

Q6. What is going to be the toughest part of doing this event for you?

Putting in the miles and the time we have to dedicate to training. 5-7 hour+ runs eat into your social life!

Q7. Confident for the big day?

Yes. I believe it’s more psychological than physical. I think if someone’s life depended on it, you could do it so it’s just case of getting in the right frame of mind and staying positive.

Q8. How have family and friends reacted to your doing this event?

Most of our friends know us fairly well so were not very surprised! As we’ve done some chunky things in the past, it is hard to remind people that we are putting lots of effort in and it doesn’t just come easily.

Q9. How much do you hope to raise?

Not too sure just yet. We find it hard to ask the same people for donations year in, year out and my mates see me coming a mile off! We’re setting up a charity page soon so will push that out to our friends and family.

Q10. How would like the donations from your efforts to make a difference?

We’ve always supported Demelza House in the past so it would be good to know how they spend and allocate the monies donated at the end of this year. However, all of O2e charities are the ‘right’ charities as I know O2e has strict prerequisites.

Q11. Do you have any fundraising ideas yet?

Right now, it’s early days. Primarily we’re doing it for personal achievement and if we can raise some money along the way for some great causes then it’s a bonus.

Q12. What is it about O2e that resonates with you?

What I love about O2e is the group of people who are involved. I love the type of events that are organized and it’s good to know that all the monies are donated to the nominated charities and not spent on marketing or wages like some other charities.

Q13. Finally, what advice do you have for any would-be O2eer?

Get your trainers on and get out there and do it!