Poole local runs London Marathon and beats fundraising target for SSAFA

11 October 2021

Fred Willis, a self-employed sales agent, is no stranger to running marathons, having run 3 previous events for charity. On Sunday 3 October, Fred ran the London Marathon 2021 in 3 hours and 54 minutes, raising £1696 for SSAFA.

Fred said: “I hit out at a great pace aiming for sub 8 min/mile pace which I maintained until 15 miles and then my heart rate started spiking up to a level that was unsustainable until the finish.”

Although able to walk off an acute pain in his right hip Fred said: “I jogged on and turned my attention to enjoy the atmosphere which was electric! London really turned out and the feeling of people shouting out my name with encouragement was amazing.”

Only later when he had completed the marathon had he realised that his hip pain could have been caused by a wasp that must have flown up his shorts.

Overall, Fred is stoic about just missing his ideal time of under 3 hours and 30 minutes saying: “Where I missed one target, I exceeded another and in the grand scheme of things it was the more important one that was beaten to support serving personnel, veterans and their families when in need through SSAFA”

Fred decided to raise money for SSAFA to remember his father who served in the RAF and participated in the Berlin Airlift in 1948. He is also keen to support his mother who volunteers for SSAFA Northern Ireland.

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