Daniel and Bob.

The Cutter is pleased and proud to offer our support to one of our writers Daniel Snowden as he attempts to lose a little beer-chub, get fit and run this year’s London Marathon.

Daniel is running on behalf of an amazing charity that I’m sure some of you will already be familiar with – the Willow Foundation http://www.willowfoundation.org.uk/Home

It was founded in 1999 by ex-Arsenal keeping legend Bob Wilson and his wife Megs as a lasting memorial to their daughter Anna who sadly passed away aged 31 after a five year battle with cancer.

The foundation offers special days out for the seriously ill and their families.

In the twelve months since the Cutter started I’ve been regularly blown away by the kindness and decency of our readers and without wishing to get all cloying and sentimental I genuinely believe this is because football people are the best around. Maybe it’s because we embrace the notion of community and then endure adversity within that community by supporting teams that routinely break our hearts?

Whatever the reason is we bicker and banter but ultimately stand together.

And so we don’t wish to abuse that goodwill by getting all Lenny Henry on you.

Instead we merely ask that you read Daniel’s short blog below.

We will be following Dan’s journey from coach potato to superfit God as the big day approaches and want him to know that on April 22nd we’ll be right there with him in spirit. In human form we’ll be on the coach shovelling Pringles into our gob.

In the meantime you can follow the progress on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/runningfatbloke and here http://runningfatbloke.blogspot.com/2012/02/woah-im-half-way-there.html

With the big day looming I am starting to get a little nervous.

Daniel –

Recently, a number of my friends have questioned my sanity, and it has nothing to do with my continued support for Arsene Wenger despite the fact that he is about to become the Arsenal manager who has gone the longest without winning a trophy (no Arsene, coming fourth is not “like a trophy”, no matter how much you say it).

No, people are calling me mad as I am running the London Marathon. To put this in perspective, this time last year I only did a bit of running in the gym on the treadmill, I’m not very tall and was quite fat.

Fast forward a few months, I am still a bit short but now only a bit fat, but I’m still considered strange. I am doing the run for three reasons, in no particular order:
1)      Get less fat
2)      Tick it off the “Things to do before you are 30” list before I turn
30 a few weeks after the race
3)      Raise at least £1,600 for the Willow Foundation

And so far it is going pretty well, although I didn’t realise quite how much of an impact it would have on my social life. Indeed, this weekend I managed to get myself round the “Race your pace” half
marathon, which was four laps of the Dorney Lake rowing centre, which will be used for the rowing at this year’s London Olympics.  I even got round in a respectable 1 hour, 58 minutes and 39 seconds. And afterwards I dressed up as Indiana Jones and went to a 30th birthday party (it was a fancy dress party, that is not my usual attire), but was totally knackered and ended up going to bed while the party was still going on.

This is not the first time this has happened either, and I have had to turn down invites for stuff so that I can go training. As they say, mad.

Still, I do feel pretty good about destroying my body in this way. I have more energy, have saved money I would have spent on going out and can run for an hour without stopping. On top of this, I have already managed to raise around £700 for the Willow Foundation, with over eight weeks still to go.

However, with the big day looming I am starting to get a little nervous. I mean, I was shattered after the half marathon at the weekend and I am going to have to do the whole thing all over again.
Twice! Back to back!! Which is a bit daunting.  But there is plenty of time between now and then so hopefully I can step it up another level.

Plus, hopefully Arsenal should be giving me a helping hand.  This is because the Willow Foundation was set up by former Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson, after the death of his daughter.  The charity provides special days for seriously ill young adults and as part of the preparations for the Marathon they offer their runners the chance to go the Arsenal training ground and meet the medical team, who are there to pass on tips for training, injury avoidance etc.

I’ll be sure to say hello to Abou Diaby. I mean, he must have his own ward……

If you would like to make a contribution to my efforts and validate the way I am destroying my body then just nip over to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=runningfatbloke and give whatever you can. Cheers.

Dan training yesterday. Maybe.