In 2016, Edward Kendall ran his first-ever London Marathon. Although he completed it in four hours and forty minutes, come Sunday 22nd April, he’ll be doing it all over again in support of Birmingham St Mary’s – but this time, he wants to be faster.

As a paralegal at Access Legal – which is part of Shoosmiths, one of our fantastic charity partners – Ed has the support of his colleagues to help him cross the finish line. Here, he explains why he’s running 26.2 miles for Birmingham St Mary’s and how a recent visit to the hospice surprised him in the most positive way… 

Don’t get me wrong, running a marathon is challenging but as you’re taking on 26.2 miles, there are lots of factors that keep pushing you forward. In this blog, I want to share some of these factors and encourage you to dust off the trainers and head outdoors to take on similar challenges!

I first ran the London Marathon in 2016 and whilst I must admit that it was gruelling at times, there were moments that have never made me smile more. When I look back, I’ll never forget stretching in Greenwich Park on a beautiful spring morning next to a pair of rhinoceroses and a 10ft long velociraptor. I remember overtaking a man running with a washing machine strapped to his back and another in full chainmail – and I remember chuckling to myself at the thought of being beaten by either of them! I also recall running through the streets of London with thousands of like-minded people trying to do some good and thousands of supporters encouraging us to keep on going. There was a tangible buzz in the air and these are things I will never forget.  

This year, I’ve decided to do it all over again but I’ll be running for Birmingham St Mary’s. The hospice is ‘Charity of the Year’ at my workplace, Shoosmiths. As my work involves supporting local people, I felt even more inclined to run for Birmingham St Mary’s as it’s a local charity that provides care and support across Birmingham and Sandwell.

To help get a better understanding of the work of the hospice though – as well as push me to train more – I decided to visit to see first-hand the care that the doctors and nurses provide. I couldn’t believe how uplifting and positive it was – it was all about living and making sure people with life-limiting illnesses get to do the things they love with the people they love. 

I was so humbled to see how people were clearly at the heart of everything the hospice does. One of the nurses told me an incredible story about a young woman who was staying there recently. She wanted to enjoy a ‘Girls Night’ with her friends and family and so the nurses arranged it all – popcorn, wine, films, the lot. Although it would be her last-ever girls night, the team made sure it was one to remember for both her and her loved ones. It was so touching to hear stories like that and to see how the doctors, nurses and volunteers go that extra mile to create memories that will last a lifetime.

It is these kind of stories that will help me cross the finish line on the 22nd April. Knowing that every mile I run will make a big difference is a huge motivator, and I can’t wait to get going and help make more incredible memories.

It’s not just others you are helping when you decide to take up a challenge like this though. During my training, I have never felt more positive both physically and mentally. Running has been fantastic and I have had an outstanding amount of support from everyone at Shoosmiths.

My final words of advice to anyone who is thinking of taking on a challenge like this would be: don’t underestimate yourself, don’t be discouraged by the distance and ask yourself – what’s the worst that could happen?

Thank you Ed for sharing your story with us. If you’ve been inspired by Ed’s story, why not check out our running events, where you can do something amazing for your local hospice. Or, if you would like to support Ed, head to his JustGiving page.