Sunday, 14 April 2024
Sunday, 14 April 2024

Former rugby legend tackles the London Marathon

CHARLIE Hodgson, 42, from St Albans, Hertfordshire, will be one of the 50,000 people taking on the gruelling 26.2 miles, at this year’s London Marathon, on Sunday 23 April.

The former England, Saracens and Sale Sharks rugby player has decided to swap his rugby boots for his running shoes to take to the streets of London, all in support of Muscular Dystrophy UK. Charlie is hoping to raise thousands for the charity, which will help fund research into treatments for rare, life-limiting muscle-wasting conditions and support the 110,000 children and adults across the UK affected by these conditions.

Charlie was inspired to sign up to his first London Marathon for the charity after attending MDUK’s Celebrity Sports Quiz event. Here he heard from Louisa Hill, from Buckinghamshire, who gave an impactful and emotional speech about her son, Archie, 17, who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a condition that affects around 2,500 people in the UK.

Charlie said:

“I am always completely humbled by the personal stories that are shared by the families living with muscle-wasting conditions at the event. I was so moved to hear about everything Louisa and her family have done, from fundraising to campaigning for access to treatments like Translarna, which has now become readily available on the NHS.

“Unfortunately, the lasting effects of rugby have meant I haven’t been able to run consistently since retiring in 2016. Every time I feel I’m getting somewhere I end up back to square one with a calf or back injury. This marathon is going to take me completely out of my comfort zone and will take a huge effort to even get to the start line on the day.

“Feeling a bit of pain through the training, and potentially the race, pales into insignificance when you hear of the difficulty felt by those who are living with muscular dystrophy. It’s heartbreaking to know there isn’t a cure yet, but the money that I raise will hopefully be a small contribution towards helping reach groundbreaking treatments.”

Charlie was due to complete the delayed London Marathon in October 2022 but due to injury had to defer his place till this year. After training for several months Charlie is determined to complete the marathon and wants to cross the final line in under four hours and 15 minutes.

Former rugby legend tackles the London Marathon
Charlie.

Charlie added:

“I’m most looking forward to (hopefully) crossing the finish line and hearing the crowds on the day and just taking the whole experience in. My wife, Daisy, and children, Henry, Anastasia, Jack, Freddie and Sam will also be there to cheer me on, so it’ll be great seeing them at certain points along the course.”

To support Charlie you can visit his JustGiving page. 

Kiera Santry, Challenge Events Manager for Muscular Dystrophy UK, said: 

“Running the London Marathon is a monumental life achievement and a truly courageous thing to do. Before even reaching the start line, runners must find the determination to dedicate months of the year to demanding training plans and work hard to reach and exceed their fundraising target.

“We are forever grateful to Charlie for his continuous support and for choosing to raise funds and awareness on behalf of Muscular Dystrophy UK, which will help us continue supporting and improving the lives of thousands of families living with rare muscle-wasting conditions.

“We wish Charlie and all our other London Marathon runners the very best of luck with this challenge – and we’ll be supporting him every step of the way.”

To learn more about Charlie’s story, please visit: musculardystrophyuk.org/charliehodgson.

Interested in taking on a challenge for Muscular Dystrophy UK why not sign up today?

For more information or to help support their work, please visit: musculardystrophyuk.org or call their free helpline on 0800 652 6352 (open Mon-Thurs 10am-2pm).

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