Sometimes in life things happen that are difficult to understand. In these moments, it takes real character to bounce back and try to move forward in a positive way. When his daughter Alexis Rose tragically passed away from meningitis in 2011, Alan embarked on a journey to raise funds and awareness for meningitis in the hope that others wouldn’t have to go through the pain he has endured. That journey now takes him to London this weekend for his seventh marathon – with over £150,000 raised along the way.
This time around it’s been particularly tough for Alan when it comes to his training but the reason behind it all continues to spur him on. London was the first marathon he completed in his fundraising efforts and it will be the last one he does before he switches his attention to shorter runs and other fundraising events in his daughter’s memory.
“London is where it all started so it makes sense for me to go full circle and make this my last one. There will be other runs but this will definitely be my last marathon. I’m mentally prepared but training has been tough for this one.
I did the first one in five hours and fifty minutes but I haven’t set myself any times for this. I’m just focussed on getting over the line – even if it takes me eight hours it doesn’t matter.”
In his fundraising for Meningitis Research to date, Alan has had incredible support from the community in Perth. With the help of his team, he has managed to raise over £150,000 for the charity and local businesses and the public continue to donate to the cause.
Local business Home Heating Services has sponsored him for his final marathon and he will wear their logo and name on his running vest – while in the past Perth amateur football teams Letham and Luncarty AFC have printed a logo for Alexis Rose on their tops. It’s this kind of support which has helped to keep him going and he is now a proud Scottish ambassador for the charity.
“The support we’ve had from local businesses and just the general public in Perth has been amazing – it’s really humbling. Everybody wants to help by either volunteering or fundraising themselves, or just by donating. It’s really nice to know that there are so many kind people wanting to help.
“I am now a Scottish ambassador for Meningitis Research which I am very proud of. What the charity does in the fight against the disease is superb and it’s an honour for me to have been given this role.”
Having raised so much already, there’s absolutely no sign of Alan taking his foot off the gas anytime soon. The work that he has done has resulted in Alexis Rose’s own little brand in the fight against meningitis – something which has created a beautiful legacy for his daughter.
Despite London being his last 26.2mile run, he still has lots of ideas up his sleeve to continue with his charitable work. In July, the third Alexis Rose Trail Race will take place and it’s a race dedicated not just to her, but to all who have been affected by meningitis.
“We wanted to create a race in her name and this is what we came up with. This will be the third year and we wanted to dedicate it to the meningitis family. There are different parts on the course that are named after people who have had their lives touched by the disease – survivors and those who sadly passed away.
Although we’ve dedicated the race to meningitis – we welcome all runners who may be raising money for other charities. There are so many great causes out there that all need help!”
With his final marathon just days away, Alan already has his after race celebrations planned. He will catch up with some friends after the race and enjoy soaking up the atmosphere before he heads back up the road on Sunday evening – although he does plan to get in, “a couple of beers” before the journey home!
Best of luck from everyone here at Small City, Alan – and keep up the incredible work!
If you would like to donate to help Alan reach his fundraising targets for Sunday’s London Marathon, click here to visit his JustGiving page.