Transport Team Leader, Kieran Gilbert, completed this year’s London Marathon in an impressive time of 3 hours 46 minutes, a significant achievement for an amateur runner and, through sponsorship, he has raised £2,500 for St John Ambulance.
Beating his previous London Marathon time by almost an hour which he recorded in 2019, Kieran ran alongside his wife and training partner, Alicia. This year’s marathon was planned to take place in April 2020 but was inevitably delayed due to the Covid epidemic.
A self-confessed obsessive runner, Kieran first pulled his trainers on in 2018 and he’s never looked back. The husband-and-wife team have run every day this year in the lead-up to the marathon, starting with mile-long runs during the early months, building up to five kilometre runs since June, and then longer distances leading up to the marathon.
Speaking about his experience in London, his second marathon, Kieran said:
“It’s all about the training when you’re preparing for a marathon. Alicia and I trained really hard, often completing shorter runs together, but running longer distances separately so we could cover looking after our children.
“We managed to meet up on the course even though we’d been allocated different starting places and, because of the hard work we’d put into our training programme, we didn’t struggle at any point or hit the infamous marathon wall that affects a lot of runners.
“We also managed to get up the next morning for a run taking in the sites of Tower Bridge and London Bridge.”
And how did Kieran feel crossing the finishing line?
“The whole experience was so incredible, I felt as though I just wanted to carry on running after I’d crossed the finish line. Having the streets lined with people cheering lifts you massively. It is something that will stay in my memory forever.”
Kieran strongly recommends running to anyone thinking of taking it up:
“The health benefits of running are huge and since I took it up in 2018, it’s had a massive impact on my well-being. As well as the physical and mental health benefits of being outside and taking regular exercise, I have lost 3.5 stone, a quarter of my original body weight, and I now make healthier diet choices.”
Kieran and Alicia chose to support St John Ambulance because of the care their son received from the charity at the Potters ‘Arf Marathon in Stoke in 2019 when his foot was injured due to someone knocking over a cup of coffee. The couple also say that the charity provides great cover at so many events by supporting and caring for runners.
“Alicia and I are very grateful to everyone who has supported us through sponsorship,” said Kieran. “We now have a significant amount of money to hand-over to the charity.”
Kieran is now keeping his fingers-crossed that he gains entry to next year’s London Marathon in October and he’s already entered the ballot. He’s also set his sights on either the Manchester or Chester Marathons being staged next year.
Photo: Kieran and his wife Alicia pictured with their London Marathon medals