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Will is all set to run London Landmarks Half Marathon in April

Will Rygalski is the Newlife High Wycombe Store Manager – and a keen runner – so it was only natural that he would put his best foot forward and sign up for the London Landmarks Half Marathon taking place on April 7, which will  start at Pall Mall London, and finish at Whitehall, just outside Downing Street – passing some of the Capital’s most iconic landmarks including St Paul’s Cathedral, Nelson’s Column and the Tower of London. As one of the many runners taking part for Newlife he will help raise funds to provide vital disability equipment and support for disabled children and their families across the UK.

Here Will tells us about his passion for running and why running for Newlife means so much to him.

“Back in 2019, I won a raffle at my old workplace and was given the choice between several experience-based prizes (restaurants, hotels, etc.) and a place in the 2020 London Marathon.  Growing up I was always into sports, but I’d never really got into running.  My excuse was always that it’s boring and unless there’s a person or a ball to chase it couldn’t interest me.  However, for some reason, when I was given that choice in 2019, I felt like the London Marathon was too good an opportunity to turn down.  After 18 months of delays due to COVID, and nowhere near an appropriate amount of training (prior to race day my longest run was half distance), I completed the London Marathon in 4 hours 23 minutes.  I swore this would be my last race ever but ended up running again in 2023, this time finishing in 4:08.

I’m still not the best when it comes to training, and generally if I make it out for two runs a week, I’m quite proud.   My feeling towards training is nowhere near the buzz I get on race day, but I definitely feel the benefits that come from running.  It always helps to calm me down and clear my head if I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  Training for the London Landmarks Half Marathon has been ok, we’re currently a few weeks out and my longest run in prep has been 13k, so just over the half distance I’ll be running on the big day.  So far, my body is holding up well, I’ve had some niggling knee pain which has been affecting my pace but nothing I can’t power through on race day so I can do my best to support Newlife and the children and families we support.

When I started at Newlife, I didn’t know a whole lot about the charity or how it helps, but the last nine months have been a whirlwind of learning!  Starting with my induction at head office in Cannock, I’ve met some incredible people doing incredible things for disabled children and their families.  Seeing the beating heart of the charity operation in action was amazing.  From nurses offering telephone support, to the play therapy pod teams, to equipment loans and grants.  One of our services that really caught my attention and inspired me is the sensory toy service offered in the pods. But to keep helping the children and families that turn us year after year means relying on fundraising, and all those amazing people who go out of their way to help, which is why I decided to take the plunge and run the London Landmarks for Newlife!

In my role as Store Manager, I work with a wide range of customers, volunteers and staff, many of which would benefit from some of our services, either due to their own disabilities or disabilities within their families.  What I have found in my time working at Newlife is everyone’s unwavering positivity and passion for helping others – and running the London Landmarks Half Marathon to raise such vital funds means that I’m personally able to contribute to changing the lives disabled children and their families, so I’m hoping to raise as much as I can to help as much as I can.

If the money I raise can help a child receive the equipment they need to keep them safe and allow them to fulfil their potential, it makes it all the training and the event itself all worthwhile!”

You can donate to support Will running the London Landmarks Half Marathon for Newlife here,or click on London Landmarks to discover more.

To find out more about Newlife’s wide variety of fundraising events visit here