Find out how to take on the TCS London Marathon for charity 
 
Fundraiser of the week, Sam Mason-Baseotto

Fundraising when you’ve already run the TCS London Marathon

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. 

Fundraiser of the week, Sam Mason-Baseotto

Support Sam and the Meningitis Research Foundation

Keep updated on his 2024 TCS London Marathon journey

Here are Sam’s fundraising tips.


1. Be memorable 


Sam ran the London Marathon in 2012, and raised funds for Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of his gran. “I always said I would never do the London Marathon again because it was horrendous,” he says.


To be fair, there is some important context to consider. “I was 19 and still going out all the time. Two days before the marathon, I went out, and had a hungover McDonald’s the night before,” Sam explains. “I’m definitely in a place where I am more aware of what to do now.”


So when it came to taking on the challenge for a second time, Sam says: “I can’t run one [marathon] because I’ve already done it, so I’m doing three.”


Now, that’s not to say everyone should run three marathons to hit their fundraising target. But whether it’s in your story, fundraising, training or maybe even on Event Day, there might be something you can do to make yourself memorable. You could even attempt a Guinness World Record, more on that here.


2. Speak to as many people as humanly possible


Sam has even been telling people he meets at the physio about his marathon challenge. That’s one way of turning an injury into a positive! But he says it’s all about word of mouth.


“Be open to talking to people and the purpose behind the challenge. I started a new job in January, so I’ve been telling people at work, and naturally through that conversation, people want to donate and help you out,” Sam says.


And don’t forget, friends of friends. "My parents have been telling their friends, and my friends have been telling their friends,” Sam says.

3. Update everyone on your journey 

You told your friends and family you are running the marathon. You even had an initial drop of donations on your Enthuse page, but has it gone a bit quiet? Keep everyone updated on your journey, whether that is documenting your training runs or shouting about certain milestones.


Sam has used the newsletters London Marathon Events has been sending to post on his Instagram and Facebook: “When the London Marathon sends the email saying, ‘12 weeks to go’, for example, I screenshot it, post it and link to my fundraising page,” he explains.


A Participant wearing a fancy dress costume celebrates as they run down The Mall

Want more fundraising resources?

Enthuse's Fundraising hub has all the information to make your marathon a success.