What's your name and which part of London do you live in?
My name is Stephen Mainstone, I'm 29 and I live in East Dulwich.
How long have you been running for?
I have been running (seriously) since September last year so 8 months.
Is this your first Marathon? If not, what others have you run?
Yes, this is my first marathon.
What inspired you to enter the Marathon?
Last year I went along to the Flora London Marathon for the first time as a spectator to support a friend who was running in it. I was captivated by the bravery and strength of the runners and by the wonderful atmosphere. I love a challenge and they don't come much bigger than training for and running a marathon distance. More significantly, for some time, I had been thinking about doing something in memory of my mother and I decided there and then that I wanted to run the Flora London Marathon in 2007.
Are you running for charity? If so, which one and why did you choose
I am running for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) as my mother, Nita died of MND in 1995. The MNDA provided invaluable equipment, help and support during my mother's illness. Moreover, I wanted to raise money to enable them to continue their work in promoting and funding scientific research into the causes, treatments and potential cures for the disease.
Do you have a funny training story you'd like to share?
I have one of those stories which is funny only after the incident. It was a cold February afternoon and I had just completed a 17 mile run around Richmond Park. I headed for my car but I couldn't find my keys. I looked everywhere within the immediate vicinity but nothing. It was unrealistic to re-trace my steps as there were 17 miles of them!! I was in trouble: it was dusk, the temperature was plummeting so I was getting very very cold, there was nowhere to keep warm as all the cafes were closing and I had no money. However, I did have my trusty mobile. So I contacted friends but they were either away or over an hour's drive away. Desperate times call
for desperate measure so I called the police who were also unable to help but they assured me that my car would not be towed in this instance!! Then Lady Luck struck and a lad passing by overhead my woes and lent me £20. The guys working in the cafe gave me a lift to Southfields tube station where there was a mini-cab firm from which I managed to get a cab home. So, through the wonderful generosity of these people I got home safely and, more significantly, my faith in Londoners had been totally restored.
What time are you hoping for on Sunday?
Prior to my calf injury a few weeks ago, I was targeting a time of 3:30 but now I'm just looking to complete the distance.
Do you have any post-Marathon celebrations planned?
I'm going to attend the post-race party organised by the MNDA and then I'll head home to bathe my legs in ice and have a long hot shower. After that I'm hoping (mobility permitting) to have a cheeky curry in my local curry house.
Will you be running again next year?
I'll let you know on Monday!
Image adapted from "Running" by Auntie P under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License