On your mark, get set, go

Nick Stopien, Maidenhead

Nick Stopien will be ‘heading straight to the nearest pub’ after completing his run.

The 34-year-old began training in November but decided to go teetotal as of February 28.

He described the sacrifice as ‘the hardest part of the training so far’ but said: “On the plus side, I’ve discovered some great non-alcoholic beers.

He added: “I know that as soon as I cross the line I’m heading straight to the nearest pub.”

Although he has been able to give up the odd beer, the food at the family run deli he works at, Deliciously French in Lower Road, Cookham, is just too good to resist.

Despite his diet staying much the same, however, Nick has lost just over two stone in weight.

Nick is running the marathon for Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia & Coloboma Support (MACS), the charity which supports children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes

In 2010 he ran the London Marathon for the charity Sense in four hours 17 minutes and 36 seconds. He hopes to complete Sunday’s race in under four hours.

Adam Mileham, Cookham

When Adam Mileham underwent a work-based training course for St John Ambulance, he had no idea he’d be running the London Marathon in aid of the charity four years later.

Shortly after joining Slough-based data company Equinix in 2015, the Cookham resident got the chance to learn life-saving first aid skills.

He then decided to volunteer for the charity and has since helped out at events ranging from the Royal Wedding to the Cox Green Fayre.

The 39-year-old will be running his first marathon in the capital on Sunday. Adam has got the SJA logo etched into his skin as a tattoo after he reached his fundraising target of £1,900. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adam-mileham to sponsor.

Lisa Collings, Windsor

A nursery teacher is raising money to support ‘ordinary’ families struggling with dementia.

Lisa Collings, 54, who lives in Langley and works at the nursery at Upton House School, Windsor, hopes the money she raises for Dementia UK will help more people learn about Admiral Nurses, specialist dementia nurses who can provide guidance for families struggling to care for a loved one with the condition.

Lisa’s mother Shelagh, 85, suffers from dementia and requires 24-hour care, but Lisa believes that if she had been aware of the advice the expert nurses can give, her situation would not be so severe today.

To sponsor Lisa visit bit.ly/2GrryJU

Marc Head, Maidenhead

One runner is feeling confident ahead of this year’s race.

Marc Head, 34, from Larchfield Road, is running this year’s event in memory of his late mother, who died in 2015 after a battle with cancer.

The psychiatrist, who works at Hillingdon Hospital in London, said: “My mother always loved the London Marathon. My middle name Sebastian comes from Sebastian Coe, the Olympic runner. He won Olympic gold the year I was born.”

Marc is also running in aid of The Shaw Trust, a UK charity which helps disabled and disadvantaged people into employment and independent living.

This is his first London Marathon but he has been preparing with a series of half-marathons and long-distance runs to get him race-ready.

He added that Footloose by Kenny Loggins gets him raring to go when he plugs his headphones in.

He said: “I have got all the tried and tested music play-lists which is about right for my running pace. I have got about four-and-a-half hours worth of songs on there.

“I am getting a bit bored of them now but they should see me over the finish line.”

To donate for Marc, visit mydonate.bt.com/fund-raisers/doctorhead

Doug Chapman, Wooburn Green

A worker at the telecoms provider Three is looking forward to putting his phone down and getting out there for his first London Marathon.

Doug Chapman, 45, from North Croft, Wooburn Green, who works at the company’s Maidenhead office, will be running the event for mental health charity Mind.

“Rather than spending thousands of pounds on the gym, I enjoy running because you can just cut off and go,” Doug said.

“It is a way of keeping physically and mentally well. There is nothing like it. Now I have entered, I am very excited about it. It is such a big event.”

Father-of-two Doug has prepared with half marathons in Wokingham and Hampton Court Palace and a strict 12-week training programme.

Donate for Doug at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doug-chapman1

Lauren Jasiewicz, Windsor

A daughter who lost her dad to a brain tumour is running the London Marathon in his memory. Lauren Jasiewicz, 26, from Windsor, hopes to raise £3,000 for the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Her father, Philip Jasiewicz lived in Maidenhead and had an operation to remove lung cancer in March 2017 - after which he was told he was cancer free.

Sadly in June 2018 tests revealed the cancer had returned and was widespread in his brain and he had just six weeks to live.

Steff, 64, passed away in hospital on July, 9 with his former partner Karen Mulcahey, daughters Lauren and Stacey Jasiewicz-Agatowska, 28, and son Nathan, 17, by his side.

Proving she’s up to the challenge of the marathon in June last year Lauren completed the Race to the Tower - a double marathon in one day along part of the Cotswold Way.

Lauren said: “Dad was my inspiration then. I felt I had given my all by mile 44, but I phoned Dad and he encouraged me to finish: ‘Only eight miles to go, you can’t stop now!’.”

To donate to Lauren’s JustGiving page go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lauren-jasiewicz4

Leo Miles, Maidenhead

Leo Miles will be taking the fight to cancer during his marathon challenge after witnessing two loved ones battle the disease over the past year.

The Maidenhead resident’s mother Anne is now in remission after being diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017.

His close friend, Victoria Welinder, died in September after being diagnosed with her second bout of breast cancer.

The 36-year-old said he has now been inspired to take on his first marathon to try and help patients around the globe.

He said: “You never really expect to see your mum in that position. It was really hard to watch her go through the diagnosis and treatment.

“When I was with her in hospital I just knew I needed to do my bit to support cancer research and improve the situation for patients around the world.”

Leo, managing director of recruitment firm FryerMiles, will be pounding the streets of London in aid of The Institute of Cancer Research.

Visit https://www.justgiving.com/leo-fryermiles to donate.

Tracy Kitchener, Maidenhead

A psychiatric nurse is taking part in her first marathon to raise awareness about mental health.

Tracy Kitchener, 44, from Maidenhead, is running for Mind and has been going on four runs a week since January.

She said: “Every day I see the effect mental ill health can have, not only on an individual but their family and friends too.

"Mind offers both practical and therapeutic support to those experiencing difficulties and I wanted to do my bit to help as many people as possible get the support they need.”

The mother of two had previously entered the marathon ballot four consecutive times and wants to raise much needed funds.

To donate visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=mapaction&pageUrl=4

Leah and David Morgan, Maidenhead

Leah and David Morgan admit it’s going to be an emotional day for them on Sunday.

The couple are running the marathon for their daughter Maggie-Mae, who lost her battle with leukaemia last year aged 18 months.

They are raising funds for the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) Brighter Future Fund, set up in her name.

Money raised for the fund will go into researching ways to treat neuroblastoma and chemo-resistant cancer.

The hospital gave Leah and David five marathon places and a fundraising target of £2,000 per person, which they hope to exceed by £5,000.

Leah and David will be running with Leah’s sisters, Ruth Bowers and Naomi Corcoran, and family friend Shelley Levitt. Shelley is the only one who has ever run the race.

The couple started training in November. They have tried to run together whenever they can and even took part in a fun run on Christmas Day with their nine-month-old daughter India-Mae in a running buggy.

Leah said: “We’re all really aware it’s going to be a really emotional day on Sunday.

“Doing it for Maggie has meant that it’s something we’re much more dedicated to. It’s forced me to go out and commit. Whenever we’ve found runs difficult or we think we can’t do it, we think about Maggie and the money we’re raising.”

David said Maggie was his ‘constant inspiration throughout this’ and that songs which reminded him of her gave him a lift.

He said: “I’m not ashamed to say I welled up a couple of time’s when certain songs came on but she always reminded me that the pain I was feeling was nothing to what she had to endure.

“Although this will be the hardest thing I’ve physically ever done, I know she’ll help me through it.”

David initially felt ‘sheer dread’ at the thought of running but that training had ‘started of brilliantly – until he tore a muscle in his calf.

“It’s been such a struggle since as I’ve had lots of niggling injuries and only managed to do a 15 mile run as my big run” he said.

The longest Leah has run so far is 18 miles and she is hoping for cooler weather on Sunday than the hot temperatures of the Easter weekend.

Leah’s sister Naomi had never run before but started with the couch to 5km podcast.

She said: “The thought of our Little Maggie -Mae and her strength she had shown through her fight against leukaemia forced me on.”

“This has been an amazing journey for us all, I have realised that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. We have had an amazing cause to run for” she added.

This has been an amazing journey for us all, I have realised that you can achieve anything if you set your mind to it. We have had an amazing cause to run for.”

Find the group’s fund-raising page at www.justgiving.com/remember/559604/Maggie-Mae-Morgan

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