Macclesfield Harriers & Athletic Club

Simon Frith's 2018 Manchester Marathon experience running for Macclesfield Athletics Development Fund

Below is an account from Simon Frith of his experience running the 2018 Manchester Marathon to raise money for the Macclesfield Athletics Development Fund (MADF). If anyone else has a running story to tell please let me know ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Way back in October, sitting enjoying a beer with friends, the subject of running a marathon came up in conversation. I’d always preferred the sprint events and running anything beyond 400 metres seemed ridiculous. By the end of the evening, three of us has decided that we would rise to the challenge and enter the April 2018 Manchester Marathon. For me, training started almost straight away, I’d had a hectic year with little time to keep active and so my fitness levels weren't quite as good as I’d hoped. I drew up a 6 month training plan and by Christmas was running 10K 3 times a week. At this point I made the decision to try and raise some money for charity. Two nights a week I am a volunteer coach at Macclesfield Harriers having gained my full athletics coaching license in 2015. This is something that I enjoy immensely and have developed a real passion for. I coach the clubs Sprints group and also the Under 13 age group and see weekly the incredible amount of time and effort given freely by so many people to make the club the success that it is. We rely 100% on volunteers. As a result I have also become a trustee of Macclesfield Athletics Development Fund (MADF) A registered charity that for almost 20 years has been raising money to help provide an indoor training facility alongside the existing track. The provision of this would have a huge impact on the quality of training we could provide to the almost 800 Harriers members with approximately half of these being junior members.

It was an obvious choice and so I set what I thought was a realistic target of raising £500. I set up a Just Giving page and peoples’ generosity was amazing. As I pushed on with higher and higher training mileage so my total increased, surpassing all my expectations. There was just the small matter of running 26.2 miles to focus on. Come race day I was as prepared as I was ever going to be. I’d completed over 420 miles in my 6 months of training and was feeling confident on a cool, still Manchester morning. Everything was going to plan and my split times were almost perfect, then as I approached 21 miles my legs decided they'd had enough and I started with cramp in both calves. Determined to finish I took a further 1 hour and 20 minutes to cover the last 5 miles and limped over the finish line in 4 hours 45 minutes. To date I have raised almost £1700 for MADF. This was such a huge incentive to keep going for those last couple of hours. Thank you to everybody that contributed to such a worthwhile cause your support will be appreciated by so many future generations of young Macclesfield athletes.