Businessman Stuart pounds the pavements of London in aid of the hospice
A businessman who took up running shortly after his dad became ill is giving back to St Catherine’s by taking on the famed London Marathon.
Stuart Topping has raised nearly £2,000 after securing a place in this year’s London Marathon through his running club, Wesham Road Runners.
It’s not the first time he’s tested his stamina, having completed the Edinburgh Marathon in 2015 along with half marathons and 10k races in recent years.
And he’s now taking on the crème-de-la-crème of marathons as he prepares to head to the capitol and take to the streets in support of St Catherine’s.
Stuart, from Cottam, who runs the family wholesale firm with his brother, said: “Running came along at a good time for me. The only exercise I used to do was play golf with my dad, and I took up running when he was ill.
“It was a form of release but it was also a good way to become part of the community, and I enjoy the social aspect of it.
“The Edinburgh Marathon was tough; I did it in three hours 27 minutes, and I felt there was more to do, so when the opportunity came along to apply for the London one – which is the main marathon which all runners aspire towards – I decided to go for it.
“Training has been going well and I’ve been doing around 40 miles a week, with some 21 and 23-mile runs. A lot of it is a mind game, you’ve got to push yourself mentally and physically!”
Stuart’s dad, Leigh Topping, was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in early 2014 and spent his final weeks in the hospice in August that year.
Stuart said the care Leigh received from St Catherine’s has inspired him to offer this “small payback” by taking on the mammoth challenge.
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