Why I'm running my first marathon I started running in 2013 and have since completed three half marathons for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice – with each race in memory of someone I have lost. I was actually planning on taking a year off from running this year but after my very close friend, Kirk Owen, was admitted to the Hospice recently, it felt only right to get fundraising once again. That’s why I set myself the gruelling goal of running 10 different events in 10 months – that’s four 10ks, five half marathons and one full marathon. I knew that if I was to convince my friends and family to get behind me and sponsor again, I had to raise the bar and do something a little more extreme. My final – and definitely most challenging run- will be the Birmingham International Marathon this October. I’ve never ran a marathon before but I’m looking forward to completing my first one ever in my hometown. Sadly, whilst I was training for the marathon, Kirk lost his battle to cancer and passed away at the Hospice. Kirk was a brilliant friend of mine and to hear this news was completely devastating. Although I never told him that I was running and fundraising for him, I am now even more determined to complete the race and do him and his family proud. Whilst I find running tough, just knowing that I am helping my local hospice – as well as receiving incredible support from my family and friends – really helps to motivate me and keep me going. For anyone that is running for the first time this year – whether that’s the half or full marathon – my best advice is to just go for it and enjoy it. All that time spent training will be completely worth it, as that feeling you get when you reach the finish line is unbelievable! Paul Hubbard is taking on his first full marathon this year to help raise crucial funds for Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice – an independent charity that provides vital care for individuals and families living with terminal illness in Birmingham and Sandwell.