I ran my first and 50th marathon for Sense


A smiling man holding a purple and orange frameI suffered from a serious back injury in 2014. I was a keen footballer and sportsman, but after my operation I was told my days of playing serious sport were over. I was devastated.

After a few unhappy months of doing no sport at all, I decided one evening to go for a run. Two and half years later and I’ll be running my 50th marathon! This year I’m running for Sense, a charity close to my heart.

It’s hard to believe, but the London Marathon 2018 will be my 50th marathon. I’ve run marathons in 25 countries in a little over two and half years, and it’s great to be back at the iconic London Marathon for the this milestone.

Just last week I completed the Brighton marathon, now I’m gearing up for the big one!

I’m really pleased to be running my 50th marathon for Sense, as it was the charity I ran my first ever marathon for in Berlin, where my journey began in 2015.

Four reasons I love running marathons

A man in an orange vest running a marathon

I fell in love with four aspects of running marathons:

  1. Raising money for fantastic charities like Sense.
  2. Seeing as much of the world as I can (I’ve run in 25 countries!)
  3. Challenging myself physically and mentally.
  4. Maintaining my fitness throughout the year in order to complete so many races.

A man running looking up toward a camera above

I try to keep active in the week leading up to a marathon to maintain my ‘fitness momentum’. I attended a boxing class on Tuesday, took part in a charity football tournament on Thursday, cycled on Friday, and played tennis on Saturday!

I find these activities in moderation actually help me on race day.

Tremendous support from an amazing charity

The tremendous support I have received from Sense over the past two years made my decision to run my 50th marathon with them very easy.

The work they do is close to my heart, and I’ve been very impressed with their friendly manner, attention to detail and the way they keep in touch throughout the year.

There’s also the bonus of the running vests being my favourite colour, purple!

Would you like to take on the London Marathon next year? With a guaranteed charity place, you can beat the ballot, receive fantastic support and be a part of something amazing. Apply now to join Team Sense in the 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon!

Author: Akram Shalabi

After a serious injury almost left him paralysed, Akram got on the road to recovery by running marathons all over the world. He's completed 50 for different charities, including Sense, who he ran for in his first ever marathon in Berlin. His 50th, the London Marathon 2018, will also be for Sense, one of Akram's favourite charities.

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