On Sunday, 26th April, Adam Hill will run the London Marathon to raise funds for The Avenues Youth Project. But it does start there for him, a week before he will be in Paris. Armed with his running shoes and some supportive friends (to carry his bags) he will run across Northern France all the way to London. The Marathon will be his seventh one in as many days. We asked Adam a few questions to find out a little more about what makes him tick.
Q: Tell us a little about how you got into running?
Adam:“I have always taken an interest in running – throughout my childhood I watched my Dad’s medal collection grow as he completed marathon after marathon in increasingly quicker times. It wasn’t until 2012 however that I decided to give it ago. Together with my Dad we slogged round the Barcelona Marathon in the 26 degree heat finishing in a time of 4 hours and 1 minute. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done, but I was hooked.
Q: Paris to London is some distance. Are we right to assume you have run long distance before?
Adam:Since that first Marathon in Barcelona I have run a number of half marathons in various places and also the Paris and London Marathons. I have also run 4 ultra marathons – one 33 miler on the South Downs, two 50 milers along the Thames and one 100 mile race also along the Thames in October 2014.
Q: You clearly have a keen interest in running. What made you chose to support our charity?
Adam: Firstly I chose to support the Avenues Youth Project after hearing about them through work. After doing some further research into the Charity I was inspired by their dedication and hard work to provide young people in London, (many of whom are close to my own age), opportunities to challenge the disadvantages they face.
I think it’s fantastic that the project not only opens its doors hundreds of young people everyday, but also manages to provide such a diverse and engaging set of opportunities, workshops and activities, providing young people with a platform to pursue their personal goals.
Despite the excellent work they do, I was sad to hear that their funding is being cut by half after 2015 which will significantly reduce their capability to provide the help and support that they do today. With this in mind I thought my run was a great opportunity to raise much needed funds for the charity.
Secondly having a great personal interest in food and nutrition myself, I think it is fantastic that the Avenues provides young people with the opportunity to learn and practice cooking healthy food with good quality, nutritious ingredients. Cooking and sharing good meals is a great way to bring people together, it can also help you run faster!
I was also privileged enough to be interviewed on the Avenues Youth Radio Station when I visited in February. I thought the presenters were really fun and enthusiastic whilst the station itself is an excellent creative outlet for young people. The music was great too!
Q: How will you prepare for this marathon of marathons?
Adam: I would typically prepare for marathons and long runs by refining my diet in the weeks running up to the event – lots of fruit and veg and no alcohol. I also believe that it is far better to be undercooked than overcooked, therefore I tend to take it easy the week before a marathon, typically going on a couple of really slow short runs of 2 – 3 miles rather than any longer distance training. Lots of sleep is also really key to running well, although this is often difficult if you’re nervous!
Q: What do you think will be your biggest Challenge?
Adam: The biggest challenge I face in running a marathon a day from Paris to London will be in trying to allow my legs to recover after each marathon. If they don’t recover properly things could get seriously painful and slow in the final days!
I am most looking forward to the last two marathons. The first will finish at Big Ben and will be accompanied by three dedicated friends who will also be running with me and the second will be the London Marathon, where the support from the crowds is second to none!”
Adam Hill is an Architectural Assistant in West London. To support Adam’s challenge please donate through his Just Giving Page. https://www.justgiving.com/Adam-Hill10/