Ambitious About Autism

So why did I choose to get involved with this bunch over other charities? After some research and a lot of heart searching, these guys seemed like a good fit for my family and my ethos:

  • They are not a big national charity with smart offices in C.London – their offices are on-site at one of the schools that they run.
  • They work specifically with young people, providing specialist education for kids and teens alike, giving them a chance in life and some more specific care than they would get in mainstream or even specialist/ARP education.
  • They ‘own’ three educational establishments and mould them to the specific needs of the autistic spectrum.
  • Their board and patron group is made up of people who have a good track record, including many parents of autistic kids.
  • Above all, they seemed like a really nice bunch when I started talking to them about joining the team.

I really look forward to working with them further and helping the cause, even if only a little bit. More info on their website:


Training and Events

Okay so it’s probably important that I give a bit more info about what my training / milestone plan is as I think people are starting to think I’m not serious about this. Here are events that I am committed to in the run-up to London 2017:

  • Several park runs in October and November 2016
  • Water of Life 10K, Maidenhead, 23rd October 2016 (entered)
  • Hampton Court Half Marathon, 19th February 2017

This will give me some milestones to hit and, of course, will increase the need for training in the coming weeks and months.

As for now, I’m our running a few times a week as I was in August and massively enjoying it. I’ll post more progress here in due course!


It’s real. It’s really real.

So it’s official – I am running the London Marathon 2017.

This has been a bit of a covert plan – I didn’t even tell Angela that I had applied until things got more definite (she’s an established runner and I wanted to be sure) so this may all come as a surprise to some of you. But I now have a place and will be running for the charity Ambitious About Autism, a charity that is very close to my heart and that of my family; more about that in another post but basically they are lovely and awesome people who don’t squander cash on fancy offices etc and definitely don’t own any yachts or even have Xboxes in their offices…

So, those of you that know me probably wonder what the hell I am doing? I can just see the thought bubbles as I start to publicise this: “First he becomes a football coach, now the London Marathon. What is this reinvention? This is the guy that was more comfortable as a kid learning about nuclear bunkers and London flood defences and programming his Sinclair Spectrum. As a teenager only seen in the local park drinking strong lager and in his 20-30s working hard to avoid all forms of physical activity whilst maintaining a plus-30 BMI. What in sweet Jesus’s name is going on?”

It’s true, I’ve flirted very subtly with physical activity all my life. I’m not really wired for competitive sport and I never really saw the need to be out doing solitary sporting activities. I have of course done the odd bit of exercise from time-to-time; I had a membership to a very expensive gym in Canary Wharf at one point which, I worked out to my horror, cost me around £200 a visit, due to the membership duration to workout ratio. I’ve been no stranger to the joys of pounding the streets whilst the air is still fresh and the pavements damp, whilst the day still smells new and the sun starts to light up the surroundings in the way it can only before 7am. I’ve had that endorphin rush post-exercise – I’ve been addicted to it.  But like any addiction it can, and did, fade.

But now I’m 43 and I want to be around for my kids beyond 52 which is when my dear Dad left us.  I want to know I’ve got more than 9 years left. I want to see my kids grow up and, ideally, meet my grandkids.  I don’t want Angela to go through what my Mum went through – it might be character building but it ain’t a lot of fun. I need a crazy goal to get myself in shape for the next 50 years, otherwise I won’t do anything and therefore won’t be around for long. I like to think I’m of reasonable intelligence – I can drive a computer and co-own a fairly successful international business – but like I said, there is some dodgy wiring when it comes to the exercise circuitry so I need to kickstart that aggresively.

I also want to give something back.  We’ve had the roller coaster ride (in the true sense of the word with extreme joys and some pain) of having an autistic child. Despite what a lot of people think, it’s mostly great now and Charlie is a near-constant source of pride and joy to us, but a lot of that is down to the help and support from some amazing people. Now it’s time to pay it forward.

So that’s my intro. You can learn a bit more here and if so inclined maybe you’d like to sponsor me. This is what it’s mainly about after all. I need £2K in sponsorship otherwise this is going to be a rather expensive day out – and the charity would appreciate the cash too!

Thanks for reading and I hope to blog on a fairly regular basis.