Vinny Gould, Warwickshire

Vinny is 40 and from Rugby.

This year, Vinny will be taking on a multiple marathon challenge for Samaritans in memory of two friends he lost to suicide.

Finishing this year’s London Marathon will represent a huge personal achievement for me as it will complete my triple marathon challenge and take on 78.6 miles over three consecutive weekends! 

I’ll be kicking things off with Manchester, followed by Brighton, and finally ending with London on 22nd April. 

“I know it’s going to be tough but I really wanted to do something different and with impact to drive the fundraising and challenge myself physically. In recent years, running has become an essential part of life, in order to stay fit both mentally & physically; allowing me to function with a clear mind & stay focussed! With regards to the physical challenge itself, I am of the mind-set that if I train hard for one, then I can complete 3, with 6 whole day’s recovery in between the races, well that's the theory, and I hope I’m not being naïve.

“In the past five years, I have sadly lost two friends to suicide and know of several others that have also taken their own lives. It was only on my way back from my friend's funeral in January, when I was struggling with training due to niggling injuries (& still had the opportunity to give back my London place) that I appreciated the resonance of what I was taking on for Samaritans, and how fitting a tribute it would be to my lost friends. It was only then that I fully committed to the physical challenge & the injury niggles seemed to fade away!

“Mental health and particularly depression can touch us all, our families and loved ones. It doesn’t discriminate between race, sex, or the choices we have made in life, good or bad. The only commonality is the need for support when everything seems very dark, and sometimes this can only be absorbed by someone listening, with complete detachment from the individual.

“This is just one element of the vital work Samaritans provide, so I am extremely privileged to represent them in my charitable and physical challenge in support of the fantastic work they do.” 

You can support Vinny in his fundraising bid here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/vinnygould