Fundraise for MS Society at the TCS London Marathon
Meet Richard Evans, who ran the 2021 London Marathon for MS Society.
“I was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) in 2012. After the initial shock and some support for depression, I got back on with life and so far I have been lucky to have a low level of relapses. But I was convinced I couldn’t run – I feared that I would have an MS episode and my legs would crumple. When my wife started a Couch to 5K programme, I steadfastly refused to join in.
“Something changed in 2019 and I thought I would try parkrun. It wasn’t a pleasant experience. A combination of running and walking with a good 24 hours of recovery was required – but still, I did it. The following week I tried it again and bit by bit I improved. I added some runs during the week and found that I was both enjoying them and feeling happier between them. Throughout 2020, when Covid restrictions meant outdoor exercise was the only available activity, I maintained my running.
“I don’t know why I decided to enter the ballot for the London Marathon – I can’t say it was ever on my bucket list! To my great surprise I received a place.
“I decided that I wanted to fundraise for an MS charity and saw the MS Society listed on the website. I liked the idea of mutual support – how my sponsorship money would support the MS Society’s work, and how the charity would support me in my fundraising. It struck me during the marathon how many people were running for a good cause, and I thought of the adverse impact the cancellation in 2020 must have had on charities and the work they do. It made me even more proud to fundraise for the MS Society, given the support it gives to us sufferers of MS.
“After the euphoria of the London Marathon, I knew I wanted to continue to run for as long as possible. I recognise that exercise can be very helpful in managing MS symptoms. I felt I had another marathon in me and, given the great support that the MS Society had provided, I put forward my case for a charity place. Despite saying never ever, my wife also secured a place. I think it is strangely addictive!
“Looking back, I still cannot believe that the grumpy chap whose MS anxieties meant he refused to engage with a Couch to 5K programme has now completed one marathon and is looking ahead to another. I have come to believe that you can achieve extraordinary things if you back yourself.
“While the TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2 October 2022 may be my last, I will not be hanging up my running shoes. It will also not mark the end of my relationship with the MS Society. I will continue to support the charity as much as it supports me.”
If you'd like to join Richard in the #MSSuperstars team at the 2022 TCS London Marathon, click here and register your ballot place with us.