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David's Marathon Challenge

Phab Stories

David's Marathon Challenge

David's Marathon Challenge

Inspired by the challenges his nephew Adam and his family had faced throughout his young life, David Rootes ran his first Marathon in 2016.  Adam has Pallister-Killian mosaic syndrome, a developmental disorder which has left him with profound and multiple learning difficulties.  David chose to run that special first Marathon for Phab, a charity which resonated with him and his family’s experience and where he felt his support could make a real difference.  To find out more about running for Phab go to Phabkids

David had never run before “unless you count trotting around with the dog”.  But he obviously has a lot of stamina and determination - he works as a Tour Operator organising trips to Antarctica, living and working on a moving glacier in a tented camp!  Although that work inevitably interferes with any training schedule for the Virgin Money London Marathon, he joined his local running club, the Royston Runners and was thrilled to run his first Marathon at the age of 65 in just 3.59.04 hours – just 56 seconds within the qualification time for an automatic Good-For-Age Entry to the next Marathon.  David achieved an even better time in 2017 and has continued running for Phab using his own Good-For-Age automatic place.

For David there have been lots of unbelievable moments during his Marathon experience, including being hit by the amazing wall of noise from supporters as he approached Tower Bridge and a policeman moving a barrier so that Adam could see his Uncle running by. 

David also remembers with appreciation the level of support he got from Phab during the build up to the Marathon - with regular updates and advice from the Phab Team and an active Phab Running Group support network on Facebook.  But in particular he remembers the warm and exceptional welcome from Phab staff and volunteers at the end of the race, with not just a cup of tea and biscuits “which was great” but also a shower and massage – something which David says his fellow runners could only dream of!

David is pictured above with nephew Adam, Adam’s mother Kate and sister Haylea, and Anita Dobson, Phab’s President. And below taking part in Phab activities on our Inclusive Living Experiece Residential Project in the New Forest.

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