Yorkshireman Saul running for SHINE at the London Marathon

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It's been a busy few months for Saul Moorhouse. His first child was born late last month yet, in between nappy changes and feeds, he has somehow also found time to train for this year's London Marathon, which he is running on behalf of SHINE. Ahead of the event on Sunday, 26 April, SHINE caught up with Saul to discover why he decided to raise money for SHINE and to find out how training is going.

Tell us about yourself
I’m Saul. I’m a scientist, a birdwatcher, a triathlete, and a new dad. I’m lucky enough to have been selected for a place in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, running to raise money for SHINE.

What is your motivation to run in support of SHINE?
It was very important to me to be able to run the London Marathon raising money for SHINE.

I come from a small town in the West Yorkshire Pennines called Todmorden. So the issue of children’s education in the North is really important to me.

At sixth form college, I supported after-school education clubs in my spare time and I witnessed first-hand the positive impact of some of the initiatives like those that SHINE supports.

From tutoring Chemistry at Oxford University during my studies, to providing mentoring at local schools where I work now, supporting education and the development of young people has always been important to me.

How is training going so far?
I am lucky that I have a bit of a head-start on training as I competed in triathlons throughout 2019. I ran 100km every month last year, but to get my legs fit enough for the marathon, I think I’m going to have to double that over the next few months!

Very recently my life has been turned on its head, as my wife and I had our first child – baby Edith – at the end of last year. A few times already a training run has been put on hold as I prioritise nappy duty (or catching up on some much needed sleep!).

I wonder how old she needs to be before I can start bringing her along on training runs (carrying an extra few kilos would be good for fitness… and might help her sleep!)?

What is the training plan in the run-up to the marathon in April?
I believe runners call it “carb loading” – eating as many carbohydrate-rich foods, like potatoes, as possible to give you the energy to run long distances. This was my primary focus over the festive period in December… unfortunately I don’t think they hand out roast potatoes along the marathon route in April!

Since 1 January I’ve been following a marathon training plan. I’m not aiming to be fast, I just want to finish the marathon, so I plan to do a lot of long runs on weekends to make sure I’m fit enough. The last few weeks I’ve had to be available to help with the baby on weekend mornings, so I’ve been getting up before 5am to fit in my long runs on a Sunday before the day starts! Painful!

I have heard London marathon has some of the best support of any marathon in the world, so I’m confident the crowds will encourage me to get around. Both that, and the thought of raising money for SHINE, I’ll be sure to get over the line.