Rob takes on the London Marathon

Each year, the iconic London Marathon attracts elite athletes, keen joggers and enthusiastic fundraisers alike, all gearing up for the challenge of a lifetime. This year, on Sunday 28th April, we’ll be supporting one of our own, senior marketing manager Rob Carmichael, who is taking part in support of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT). Here he tells us more about his training and fundraising…

- 2 minutes to read

Why have you chosen to run the London Marathon in support of CHECT?

Running the London Marathon has been on my bucket list from an early age, and it will be an honour to do it in CHECT’s name. CHECT is one of Vision Express’ charity partners and over my 10 years with the business I have seen the incredible work that this charity does, supporting survivors of retinoblastoma (Rb). It’s an incredibly heart-warming, dedicated and hardworking charity that provides an essential platform for children and families affected by this disease.

Running has always been a passion of mine and having spent some time out doing other sports, I rekindled my love for distance running and the challenge that marathons present. The London Marathon is one of the most iconic races in the world and an event that is close to my heart. It was the first marathon my dad completed in 1992, and he has since gone on to complete over 100 marathons, including 23 in London. He is one of my heroes and it’s always been an aim of mine to follow in his footsteps.

How has your role at Vision Express helped you support CHECT?

I work in marketing alongside the PR team – by sheer association and awe for the difference CHECT makes, I couldn’t not help support this great charity. Marketing is inherently underpinned by communication and providing a platform to showcase products and services. I think we’ve been able to use these principles to help support and spread the word of the wonderful work CHECT does.

How have you previously supported CHECT?

I’ve been lucky enough to meet some of the CHECT team at various events over the years, including its member weekend which brings together survivors, families and supporters for a weekend of activities and fun. At this event, I organised a static bike challenge which everyone was heartily involved in; the dedication to the cause and willingness to participate was inspiring to say the least. I’ve been involved indirectly and directly with many other CHECT fundraising events over the years, including Vision Express’ Ride4Sight challenge and the annual Christmas charity quiz.

Have you ever run a marathon before?

This will be my third marathon (after Wolverhampton in 2017 and Athens in 2018) and I have a personal best (PB) time of 3.07. I have also competed in around 20 half-marathons with a PB time of 1.20. I am aiming to compete in many more marathons in the future, hopefully across the world as well! My primary target is to run under the magical three-hour mark.

How’s your training going?

Training is going well, and I have had a lot of tips from my dad and other running friends over the years who have competed in marathons. The most important thing to remember about endurance running and events is that you never stop learning – the sheer toll on your body means that you may make mistakes, but it’s about how you correct those mistakes for next time round. The marathon is one of the ultimate running endurance tests and if I have a tough moment during training, I simply think about why I’m doing the event and ask myself, how can I not be motivated?

And finally, who will be cheering you on at the side lines?

Friends and family all along the course – hopefully I won’t be too tired to offer the occasional high five or wave!