Phoenix FM’s Joshua Fowler was incredibly lucky to secure a ballot place in the 2019 London Marathon – with more than 414,000 applying for just 17,500 guaranteed places!
But he wanted to make the experience on Sunday, April 28 even more memorable by raising money for Saint Francis Hospice.
Joshua has always known about the charity and when he was 18 his Great Nan Jane Murphy was cared for on the inpatient unit before she died in 2008.
“My Great Nan spent her final days at the hospice and I still remember the overwhelming sense of calmness and everyone being very lovely when I went to visit her,” said Joshua, who lives in Brentwood.
“Growing up in Dagenham, I have always known about the hospice and the huge pressure it is under to raise the funds it needs.
“Whatever little I can do to help raise awareness, and funds, will be a drop in the ocean compared to what it deserves.”
Joshua’s inspiration to run the iconic marathon can be traced back to when he was a young boy and listening to his dad talk about completing the 26.2 route around the capital in the 90s.
And previously working as a reporter at the Ilford Recorder, among other Archant titles, Joshua was used to covering the London Marathon.
This will be Joshua’s second London Marathon but this time he is determined to be better prepared and do it more comfortably.
“When I ran in 2013, I didn’t train enough,” said Joshua, who now works as a financial adviser.
“The first half was fine and then I hit the brick wall.
“The day after the London Marathon I could not walk properly.
“This time I will be better prepared. My training has started and I am doing 6-7 mile runs at the moment.”
Joshua, who is our Sports Presenter appearing every Saturday from 3-6pm, is clearly excited about the challenge ahead and says there’s many reasons why the London Marathon is world famous.
“The excitement starts from waking up early, getting to the train station where the only people on the platform are those running and getting to Blackheath where it starts,” said Joshua.
“The atmosphere is absolutely electric.
“I’ve been overtaken by Fridges and people dressed in so many different costumes.
“There’s an incredible sense of community around the streets of London as people are playing music, shouting your name and handing you sweets.
“It is also very emotional as you run through the streets of London, especially when I see my family along the route.
“When I crossed that finish line at the end it’s an odd feeling – a combination of pride and relief. It took a few weeks for it to all sink in, really.
“The moment they give you the medal is a real treasured memory, and even after the race you get congratulations from people walking past because they see your medal – it’s just such a special occasion.”