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  • Writer's pictureAlastair MacLeod

Maiden Marathon Complete!

How long should someone train before running their first marathon?

We would bet that three months is not the typical advice. Nevertheless, Sandeep Bhamber started cold on 4th February with a mere 2.77 mile run. Before this date, he would go out running just to cling on to the scraps of fitness that are typically left after entering fatherhood.

3 months to train for a first marathon

Sandeep had never run a marathon before, so to commit to such an ambitious target with only three months to train, demands a Rocky Balboa level of determination, resilience, and unwavering spirit. Also a good dose of RockWave Value no.3:

ADVENTURE: Dare to Discover - Explore new paths, challenge tradition and be excited to discover where this takes us.

This was not just about personal achievement, it was also about making a difference in the lives of others. In Sandeep’s words on his JustGiving fundraising page

"I'm planning to run a marathon in aid of raising awareness for Autism, a cause which has recently become very close to my heart. I have never run a marathon before, so this seems a bit crazy and quite scary, but I'm up for the challenge! Wish me luck!”

Scary indeed! Fair play to Sandeep for taking on the challenge and doing it for a good cause.

"To truly grasp the complexity of autism, I urge you to watch the video on my fundraising page and take a moment to explore the wealth of information available on the National Autistic Society website. Your awareness can spark conversations, challenge misconceptions, and foster inclusivity."

As the weeks passed, Sandeep's dedication to his training program became evident as the training miles clocked up, gradually building his endurance and stamina. With each stride, he inched closer to his ultimate goal – the Milton Keynes Marathon, scheduled for May 6th.

On race day, amidst the palpable excitement and nervous energy, Sandeep stood poised at the starting line, ready to embrace the challenge that lay ahead. With each step, he powered through the miles, fuelled by sheer determination and the unwavering support of several carb-loaded pizzas in the preceding days.

at the start line of the MK Marathon 2024
Start line of the MK Marathon 2024 with Sandeep (right) running alongside his brother (left)
mile 21 of the MK marathon 2024
Mile 21

Five hours and nineteen minutes later, Sandeep crossed the finish line, his face adorned with a triumphant smile and his heart brimming with pride. In completing the marathon, he not only achieved a personal milestone but also made a meaningful contribution to a cause that is close to his heart.

In Sandeep's own words, he reflects on his endeavours below:

"Taking on the marathon was a test of both physical stamina and mental endurance. The run itself was a rollercoaster of pain, triumph, and questionable life choices! It was one of the toughest, but also most fulfilling experiences of my life, and made even better to do it for a worthy cause. It's amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. 

"They say the ideal prep time for a first marathon is 6 months to a year, but I say the second best time is now... (or in my case 3 months before). I have learnt from this experience that sometimes it's better to get out there and give it a go, rather than waiting for the perfect moment. Now, several days after the race, and once again able to walk down the stairs faster than a 90 year old, I find myself asking, what's my next adventure?"


To support Sandeep Bhamber's fundraising efforts for the National Autistic Society and to learn more about his inspiring journey, visit his fundraising page here and make a donation.

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