Runners who will be joining you on the Start Line share their fundraising journey and three tips to help you hit your target before Event Day.
Fundraiser of the Week, Sam Mason-Baseotto, on supersizing his marathon challenge.
Sam first completed the TCS London Marathon when he was 19, which he said was horrendous due to his unconventional preparation - more on that later! Now he's set himself the challenge of running three marathons to raise awareness of meningitis.
Bacterial meningitis attacked the lining of Sam’s brain in 2017, and he spent a week in hospital drifting in and out of consciousness while receiving various treatments, including a lumbar puncture.
“I had no idea what meningitis was,” Sam says. “I thought it was something babies sometimes got, and I didn’t even realise there were two strands of it! I knew I needed to raise awareness of meningitis because the only other person I knew who was diagnosed with it had died. "
Sam had been at V Festival when he began suffering from a severe headache, before he had a seizure and a rash appeared. He went to the medical tent, but no one spotted what was happening. Luckily, his friends sent him home and his housemate called 111, at which point he was taken to hospital. Once he was discharged, the recovery really began as Sam was left feeling alone in the aftermath of what had happened and experiencing migraine-like symptoms.
“During recovery I was all over the place mentally,” he says. “I have always been a really positive person, but I was finding I would burst into tears for no reason. As I always do, I would call my mum and she would offer lots of support, reassurance and guidance, and suggested I also try to speak to a professional."
Sam adds: “I was not in a position financially to see a therapist, so I called the Meningitis Research Foundation helpline. I spoke to this lovely lady who gave me so much information and reassured me that this was a normal healing process.”
Now Sam wants to give back to the Foundation that helped him when he most needed it, even if that does mean completing three marathons. The final one having the steepest elevation.
“It’s about being with myself, reflecting on why I’m running it when I’m running, and seeing if I can challenge myself physically. I don’t know how the legs will cope, but I’ve been super dedicated.”
Sam will be taking on the 2024 Brighton Marathon on Sunday 7 April, the 2024 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 21 April and, finally, the Leeds Marathon on Sunday 12 May. Yes, that’s 78.6 miles in 35 days.