London Marathon competitor, Tom Dixon, 36, is celebrating after completing the 2016 event in a personal best time whilst raising vital funds for disability charities Mobility Choice and Scope.
Tom from Amersham, South Bucks, finished the race in 2 hours 58 minutes – his fastest time yet by 12 mins and under the elusive three hours he has been seeking for five years.
Tom competed in his first London Marathon in 2000, aged 20 and has since entered the Dublin, Edinburgh and New York Marathons as a well as a couple of Ultra Marathons with distances over 50km. He has trained hard across the winter months with the Chiltern Harriers in preparation for the London event, competing in club cross-country competitions to test his limits.
Tom comments: “Once the marathon started, all my pre-race nerves disappeared. The crowds were great right from the off, and as I was up the front with many Club and Championship runners, it was a pretty serious atmosphere. I didn’t get carried away early, but remained focused on my race plan. The most incredible parts were the crowds at Cutty Sark and at Tower Bridge. You couldn’t cram any more people in and the noise was like a wall. I found myself smiling all the way over Tower Bridge, it was so incredible.”
In 2008, Tom began using running competitions as a way of fund raising for disability charities. He had just begun working for Scope having been inspired to do so by his aunt, previously a Director of Scope in Wales and a tireless disability campaigner. In 2013, Tom joined charity Mobility Choice as a trustee. He has been able to use his knowledge of disability fundraising to support the charity and The Mobility Roadshow – an annual mobility and accessible vehicle test-drive event for people with disabilities that is organised by Mobility Choice.
Tom explains, “The Mobility Roadshow is a fantastic event giving people with disabilities the opportunity to try accessible equipment, test drive adapted vehicles and enhance their own independence. I would love as many people as possible to continue to benefit from this annual event.”
Despite being in pain at the 18th mile, Tom says remembering the two charities he was raising money for allowed him to dig deep and remain focussed on his race plan. He continues, “I knew friends and family were there to support me at 22, 23 and 25 miles and that really kept me going – it was quite emotional. Coming up towards the finish, I knew I’d given it my all, I was so proud. It was a huge relief to finish but a huge sense of accomplishment and pride – especially as I finished in my best time yet.”
Tom concludes: “Today, my thighs are in pieces – going down stairs is agony! My toes aren’t much better, but it was so worth it! I’m really pleased to have been part of this amazing event and all the better that I’ve raised money for two brilliant disability charities.”
To help Tom Dixon raise funds for Mobility Choice and Scope: