Running enthusiast and supporter of Havens Hospices Keith Luxon, will be assisting runners to help achieve personal bests at this year’s Chelmsford Marathon and Half, sponsored by Countryside (now part of Vistry Group) and L&Q’s flagship development Beaulieu on Sunday 15th October.
The event raises vital funds for the Essex-based charity which cares for and supports people of all ages living with incurable conditions, and their families. All the care provided is absolutely free of charge thanks to sponsorship and donations from events like the Chelmsford Marathon.
After starting marathon running just after his 40th birthday 15 years ago by completing the New York marathon, Keith has never looked back and has now completed 337 marathons to date. It had initially been on his bucket list to run one by the time he was 30, so he thought back then ‘If I don’t do it now, I’ll never do it’, although his first marathon was a learning experience for him.
Keith said: “I booked my flights to New York on the basis that if I spent a lot of money, it would force me to do the training and complete the route. But I did everything wrong and I had a miserable time – I started the marathon too fast and I didn’t eat the right foods. I decided I needed to do one marathon well and signed up for the London Marathon which took place six months later and that went brilliantly – I had a fantastic time and, after that, I was hooked.”
Keith has run the Chelmsford Marathon which is put on by Havens Hospices, for the past six years, and by pacing this year’s race Keith is volunteering his time to give back to the charity and help other runners to achieve their race by a certain time. Keith said: “Whether runners are aiming for a personal best time or it’s their first marathon, it means that the worry of running at the right pace is taken away. It also means I can encourage them through it and ensure they have a good time. You also pick people up on the way around. The Chelmsford Marathon is a great day out with a purpose and I genuinely really enjoy being a part of it.”
Keith has supported Havens Hospices for over 10 years by running the London Marathon, raising money for the charity. He said, “Havens Hospices is a really fantastic charity. They support so many people, young and old, and the people I connect with – who are sons, daughters, wives, husbands of people in their care – always say that Havens Hospices has been amazing in the most difficult of times. Plus, I always say, you never know when you might rely on them so it’s good to show your support when you can.”
Being an experienced runner, Keith helps other runners through various London and Global marathon groups on Facebook, offering tips and advice. For anyone considering training for the marathon, Keith advises, “Run slower – that will get you to the finish line. Follow a plan to give you structure and always look back at how far you’ve come – not how far you’ve got to go. I’ve run 337 marathons in total and I’ve made every mistake in the book, so I try to help people avoid making the same mistakes.”
He continues: “To anyone considering doing their first marathon I would say to unreservedly do it. There’s nothing to lose – no one cares about your running time, you will see people of all shapes and sizes, young and old, and it will only change you for the better. Sign up to run for a charity to help motivate you and just give it a go – be careful though, you might get addicted!”
To register for this year’s Chelmsford Marathon and Half event visit: www.havenshospices.org.uk/chelmsfordmarathon