Citygate running in the London Marathon 2017, for Children with Cancer UK

Mark, our Regional Director here at Citygate, has been busy starting his training  program for next year's London Marathon! We caught up with Mark for a little interview to find out a bit more information about the charity that he will be fundraising for - Children with Cancer UK, and to check in with him how all his intensive training is going.

If you would like to help us support Mark in his fundraising or would like to leave a donation - please check out his fundraising page here.

BIG thanks, from the Citygate team!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role here at Citygate?

I first joined the company in October 1992 as an Assistant Sales Manager at Citygate Little Chalfont. At the time it was a family run business called Munn & Chapman, selling both VW & Audi. We became part of HR Owen in 1999 and I first started working for Jonathan (our Managing Director) in 2001. In 2002 he made me Divisional Operations Manager when we had 4 VW sites at Chalfont, Bushey [now Skoda], Hayes [now Ruislip] and Colindale.In 2005, Hr Owen bought Rye Mill in High Wycombe and I ran the dealership as Head of Business. In the last 10 years I have been HOB for High Wycombe and Regional Director responsible for our Group Fleet department and the Commercial Vehicle businesses.

What is your chosen charity that you will be running for - what do they do?

I have 5 children; 3 step children and 2 of my own. My wife is a school teacher, I assist with the local under 9s football team and with all our association at the school and local children’s activities I want to support children who don’t have the same opportunities. So I am running for a children’s charity – Children with Cancer UK. Children with Cancer UK is the leading national children's charity dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. Almost 4,000 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. The charity aims are to determine the causes, find cures and provide care for children with cancer.

Will this be your first London Marathon; have you taken part in any other long distance races before?

I only started running about 3 years ago when a group of us from work entered the 'Push it for Peace' 5k charity run in Watford. After that, I got the running bug and have tried to run at least once a week (on top of playing 5 a side football). Up until this summer the furthest I had run was 10k = 6 miles, so only another 20 to go!

How has your marathon training been going and what's your training routine like?

Once I got my place accepted in the London Marathon I have tried to increase my running and a couple of weeks ago managed to run 11 miles. I have now got a set 14 weeks training plan, which officially starts the first week of Jan and recommends 2 small runs and 1 long run every week, so I will be out in the early morning or after work – either way it’s probably going to be dark and wet!

Have you got any routes that you particularly enjoy running as part of your training?

My favourite daylight route is running around the lakes at the Aquadrome and along the canal from Rickmansworth to Denham. I have tried to be a bit more ambitious running along bridle paths in Chalfont & Denham, but got lost in the woods and ended up in Gerrard’s Cross – which resulted in the 11 mile run! In the dark I need to keep to the main roads, so I will either head out through Chorleywood to Little Chalfont or run a route through Moor Park, up the Hill to Mount Vernon Hospital and back down to Ricky.

Have you got a favourite running song that gets you motivated?

I always listen to music when I’m running and download Amazon or Spotify playlists with a wide range of tracks from Reggae to Rick Astley! I also have a running app loaded, which updates me on my split times, miles covered and mph (not very high)!

What's the next step in your training to get you prepared for the London Marathon in April?

My next challenge as I train between 12 -16 miles, will be to rehydrate during the run, so I’m about to invest in a Hydration backpack.

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