A dad-of-two who was entered into the London marathon as a ‘surprise’ says he has finally recovered from the shock and is looking forward to the race.
Ian Mackie, 53, had no plans to take part until he received a text message from godson Chris Jones to say he had managed to secure places for them both.
Inspired by the Bournemouth half-marathon they ran together last year, Chris, who has autism, decided to go one step further and sign them up for the iconic event, double the distance at 26.2 miles.
Both will be running to raise funds for the eye charity MACS – the Micro and Anophthalmic Children’s Society – which helps youngsters like Chris’s cousin, four-year-old Jacob Spackman, who was born blind in his right eye and with reduced vision in the other.
Ian, from Hale, head of marketing and business development at Manchester law firm Slater and Gordon, said: “Both Chris and I like to keep fit and last year he said he would like to run a race and win a medal so we did the half-marathon.
“That was that or so I thought until I got his message! It was a bit of a shock to start with, but I just couldn’t say no.
“Chris is the most happy-go-lucky person I know and has never once thought we couldn’t do this. He texts me every day to see how I’m doing and I couldn’t let him down.
“We’ll also be supporting a fantastic charity which has really helped Jacob and his family. He’s had a really tough start in life, in and out of hospital having various operations on his eyes, but you wouldn’t know he’s got those problems because he’s such a happy little lad.”
Despite his initial shock and gruelling training schedule, Ian says he’s now looking forward to the famous race on Sunday, April 24, which takes in the capital’s major landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace.
He added: “About a month ago I was in so much pain through training, but recently I managed to run 22 miles without having to stop with tight calves or cramp and that was a turning point.
“That was when I thought ‘I can do it.’ It is an iconic race and everyone tells me the crowd and the atmosphere are just astonishing.”
Ian has set a fundraising target of £1,400 for MACS which helps children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes.
To sponsor him go to justgiving.com/owner-email/pleasesponsor/IandavidMackie.
Any further funds will be donated to the Once Upon a Smile charity in memory of 10-year-old Isaac Maley from Bowdon who died suddenly after suffering an asthma attack last year.
Celebrities including actor Ralf Little and the X Factor’s Jake Quickenden will take part in a charity football match in Isaac’s honour at Altrincham Football Club on the same day as the marathon.
Go to onceuponasmile.org.uk to book tickets.