20th April 2018
The English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) website features a blog post every Friday throughout the year. This Sunday (22nd April) will see over 50,000 professional and amateur runners take on the London Marathon course. One runner tackling the 26 mile and 385 yard course is 25 year old Anthony Hornby. Today, Anthony tells us how hard he has been training for his second London Marathon and how being active helps his mind stay clear and focused.
Hi I’m Anthony, I’m 25 years old and live in Holyport, Berkshire. I have Oral Dyspraxia and Dyslexia, along with some learning difficulties.
I’ll be running my second London Marathon on Sunday and I’m doing it in aid of SportsAble – a disability sports club that encourages disabled people to be their best at one or many different types of sport. I’m a longstanding member and it’s here that I first gave athletics a go. In fact in the autumn of 2016 the staff at SportsAble encouraged me to take part in the Windsor Half Marathon.
I took to the training plan quite well and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. My finishing time at that event was good, so since then I went on to do other Half Marathons and the London Marathon. My motivation to take part in the London Marathon purely came from finding out that it is one of the world’s marathons to take part in, so I just had to do it and I’m really pleased to be running it again.
I love running, it gives you that freedom to be yourself and to set goals and achieve them. I also enjoy taking part in other sports at SportsAble. I play pool for the club team, I golf and assist our disabled golfers each week, plus I enjoy rifle shooting and since taking this sport on seriously I have become a range officer. I have always been a very sporty individual but rugby is my favourite sport. I play for the Maidenhead Rugby Club, at which I’ve been a member at for a long time.
I really enjoy feeling fit, strong and capable and taking part in these activities helps me maintain that feeling.
It used to be that walking helped my mind stay clear and focused. Whenever I was feeling confused or overwhelmed I would go for a walk. Now I run regularly and I find that it helps me remain calm. It helps me feel in control of my life too and I feel I can do anything.
So, what I began to realise is that playing a sport or running makes me feel fantastic. I do get tired sometimes but I just focus on the goals I am setting and make sure I eat more!
My training for the London Marathon has gone well. I’ve been training with the Maidenhead Athletic Club as some members are also doing it and I’ve run three half marathons over the past couple of months as well.
I’m gearing myself up for the day itself, which I’m really looking forward to now – I really love the atmosphere. I’ve got my running number now and can’t wait to go to the Expo at the ExCel Centre to pick up my running pack.
My goal is to beat last years’ time of 4 hours and 12 minutes. I’m looking forward to hearing the crowds cheer me and the other runners on. My family will be there on the day as well! They are brilliant at supporting me so it will be great to see them there cheering me on.
I’m also quite active on Twitter, so usually before an event I’ll use social media to connect with people and share my training and results – the support I receive this way is really heart-warming too.
I have several half marathons lined up for the rest of the year, then in the autumn the rugby season starts again so I’ll be focusing on the new season.
My advice to other disabled people wanting to take part in sport or get active is – just give a go. Find a sport that is for you and if you can, join somewhere like SportsAble. www.sportsable.co.uk
The London Marathon will be shown on BBC 1 on Sunday 22 April from 8:30am. Follow Anthony’s London Marathon journey via his Twitter channel @AnthonyGamerUK.