Maisie and Adam - why we’re doing the London Landmarks Half Marathon

Maisie and Adam who have both run the London Landmarks marathon.

Have you ever considered running for charity?

Did you know that London’s most scenic half marathon - the London Landmarks half marathon takes place this weekend (Sunday 24th March), with 13,000 runners set to take to the capital’s streets? Among them will be our fundraisers, Adam and Maisie, who tell us why they’ll be donning the Versus Arthritis running vest this weekend.

“Some days my body felt like a lead wetsuit.”

Adam, 31, was diagnosed a few years ago with ankylosing spondylitis after experiencing severe pain.

“Two words turned my life upside down, within months of moving to Cornwall to start a new life and open a small restaurant; ankylosing spondylitis. What was it? Why did I have it? Is this why I had to crawl to the bathroom in the morning, why I could barely walk across the road and why my motivation and energy disappeared over night?

“My diagnosis shattered my life. My relationship broke down and for the first time in my life I felt lost, lonely and afraid of the future.”

“My mental health suffered too. As a 28-year-old I was supposed to be on a big new adventure not sitting in my GP’s office accepting I probably needed some help.

“I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow, find the motivation to open the restaurant or do the hours of prep needed to be successful. The fatigue linked to my condition is the biggest hurdle I have had to overcome. It felt like I was wearing a lead wetsuit.

“In 2018, I decided I wasn’t going to let Ankylosing Spondylitis ruin my life anymore. I decided I needed to get fit and lose weight. Two stone lighter, I now only take my injection once a week. I don’t take any tablets, lift the heaviest weights I can in the gym, and I run on the beach with the dogs. And best of all my lead wetsuit doesn’t come out very often.

“2019 will be the year I rule Ankylosing Spondylitis, not the other way around.”

“It’s not a challenge I ever thought I would take on, but when my best friend and brother decided they would do the London Landmarks half-marathon, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to join them.

“Training for a half-marathon hasn’t been easy. It’s certainly taken a toll on me and I’ve had to pace myself a lot more than I thought I would, but I’m determined to persevere.

“By supporting Versus Arthritis, I have a chance to raise money for a charity that is helping people affected by arthritis and investing in research to, if not find a cure, help to further understanding of the condition.”

“It was hard hearing that my dad had arthritis. He had always been a sporty person and enjoyed going out on his bike for hours, but he struggles to do that now.”

Maisie, 26, will be running the London Landmarks Half-Marathon for the first time for Versus Arthritis.

Following in the footsteps of her mum, who has run a lot of half marathons in the past, Maisie wanted to take on a new challenge and support her dad who has ankylosing spondylitis.

“Seeing my dad struggle with things that used to come so easily to him, hurts so much. But he’s a tough cookie who plods on no matter what.”

Although, admittedly, not a natural runner, Maisie has taken the challenge head on and is enjoying the experience. “People are shocked when I tell them I’m running a half-marathon, but in just a few months, I’ve gone from not being able to run 100 yards to doing 13 miles at a time.

“For anyone considering taking part, I would say, go for it and believe in yourself you can do anything when you put your mind to it.”

If you’ve been inspired by Adam and Maisie’s story and would like take get involved in one of our challenge events, visit our events page.