Good luck in your 6th Abbott World Marathon Major, Tom!

Long-time MS-UK fundraiser Tom Pope will, this weekend, be completing his final one of the six World Marathon Majors – the BMW Berlin Marathon. This will see him awarded The Abbot Six Star Finisher Medal. Tom also turns 40 later this year. Here, he tells us about the marathons he has run, and the reason behind his efforts.

“The six World Marathon Majors take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Chicago, New York and Berlin, with Berlin being the fastest.

“Over the course of 15 years, I have run the equivalent of 54 marathons – this includes ultramarathons I’ve completed doing Ironman challenges.

“My mum was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative condition that was a type of multiple sclerosis (MS) when she was 50.

“Mum’s illness just changed everything for me. I never ran before, I hated it. I just played football, and running was the means to move the ball from A to B. Mum’s illness forced me to find something positive to do. Concluding every world major in celebration of her life has been really important to me.

“I ran my first marathon in 2008 in London. My mum was still alive then, although very unwell. She was waiting at the finish line and after I crossed it, I put the medal over her neck.

“Although I’ve run marathons across the world, and in most major European cities, London is hands-down my favourite. The city comes alive, you run past iconic landmarks, and other cities like Tokyo and Chicago just don’t have the same feeling – you don’t get people dressed up in dinosaur suits and the like running.

“I know how lucky I am to get to complete the Six Abbot World Marathon Majors. But getting to my 40s and being able to do the big six, run the London Marathon 11 times, and done the Marathon des Sables 250kn in six days is a lot to reflect on. It’s as much about everyone else’s support for me in doing this as it is my own experience. I’ve roped in so many family and friends over the years and really it’s about their participation.”

Good luck this weekend in the BMW Berlin Marathon this weekend Tom!