Tackling the World Marathon Majors in aid of Tangmere-based Dementia Support

An East Ashling man is on the home straight as he bids to complete the six World Marathon Majors in aid of Tangmere-based charity Dementia Support.
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72-year-old John Miles has already completed the London Marathon, the Chicago Marathon, the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon. Of the World Marathon Majors, only two now remain for him to tackle – Tokyo on March 5 and then Berlin in September.

Dementia Support’s mission is to help as many people as possible navigate the journey of dementia, both pre- and post-diagnosis, supporting family, friends, and carers. Their vision is a society where dementia is wholly understood and accepted, enabling people living with dementia to be fully supported throughout their journey. You can support John’s fund-raising for them by donating on https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-miles30

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“I did London to start with and I've done London twice now. I did London in 2021 and got a sufficiently good time to get a guaranteed entry into New York, Boston and Chicago. I did Boston in April last year and then Chicago in October and then New York in November. My favourite marathon by far is London. I think it's the city itself. Even though you are running a marathon you can't fail to notice the Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and The Houses of Parliament. Compared to the three American ones that I did last year, a lot of those were dual carriageway and big buildings. It wasn't that there weren't landmarks and New York is great when you get Central Park at the end, but I just love London.

John Miles after the New York Marathon 2022 in Central ParkJohn Miles after the New York Marathon 2022 in Central Park
John Miles after the New York Marathon 2022 in Central Park

“I started running nearly ten years ago a couple of years after I had retired. I didn't feel fit and I tried to run but couldn't run 100 yards so I set myself the challenge. I started running and gradually built it up.

"I met a neighbour who said ‘Are you going to do the Chichester half marathon?’ I did and I thoroughly enjoyed it and then I started thinking that I ought to put a marathon on my bucket list. I did Brighton as my first. I thought that it was tough and that that was that, that I'd done it and I would never do one again but then a couple of days later I entered another. I just like the fact you can't go about it without preparation. You've got to do the training. I think anybody can get up to about 20 miles but the real problem in a marathon is the last six after that!”