Collage images - family photo outside and photo of a young autistic man smiling, purple quote

Why are you supporting the National Autistic Society?

I am running for my little brother Anthony (see the man in the photo with the ‘Wallace-esque smile’). Anthony has been a part of my family for nearly all of my life, certainly for as long as I can remember, and I wouldn’t change him for the world. He leads an excellent life and he now lives as independently as he can in a home for disabled adults.

I love my brother, but growing up with him I have experienced first-hand the extra pressure that having an autistic family member can have. It is a pressure that I believe the National Autistic Society truly understands. It is evident to me by simply seeing the support they offer families with autistic children. I am very happy to support in any way I can to help them provide the type of support that our family may not have survived without.

How was the half marathon last year and how are you feeling about next year?

Hard – but I expected it to be hard. However, I don’t mean that in a bad way – I did my first half marathon in 2018 and I’ve been improving ever since. If there is one thing I’ve learnt it’s that a half marathon is always going to be hard for me. It doesn’t get any easier, I just get quicker!

There is definitely an aspect of mind over matter though, and running for a charity definitely helped to push me forward, which is why I’ve signed up to do it again this year. Knowing that by committing to this event I am supporting National Autistic Society is an excellent feeling.

Getting to the cheering stand on the route and hearing the team cheer me on makes it all more than worth it.

How do you find the preparation for London Landmarks?

Training for me is my own personal battle. I started running for self-improvement and always having an event on the horizon has kept me pushing myself and improving. This year I am aiming for as close to 2 hours as I can, maybe even the coveted 1hour 59.

Training and fundraising last year went hand in hand. I used the training sessions and milestones to write a weekly blog which advertised my fundraising page. I suppose in this regard I could be considered somewhat of a loner. I know many that find training with running clubs the best way to achieve their own goals which is great, but I prefer to keep this as time for myself. I can also guarantee that the National Autistic Society will go to great lengths to support their runners in fundraising. They have been nothing but great to me!

If I had to give one piece of advice, training or fundraising, consistency is key – keeping to a running schedule and regularly providing updates to your sponsors really keeps you and them feeling really good about supporting such an awesome cause!

 

Callum, we can’t wait to watch you beat your target this year, we’ll be cheering you on!

There’s still time to sign up to join Team Autism for the race – places are limited!

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