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Why I run for Age UK

"Running with someone in mind is always great motivation"

Scott tells us how running became an important part of his life, the grandfather who inspired him to raise money for Age UK, and how he gets through the tougher parts of his challenges.



Running is good for you. Doing it for Age UK is good for others. We speak to long-time supporter Scott, and hear from other fellow runners, about the personal impetus for combining a beloved hobby with a vital cause.

Tell us about your relationship with running…

“It started for practical reasons: I had a knee operation and the doctor said it would help to strengthen the knee, but also to help me get fitter and lose some weight. My first run was a shambolic 10-minute effort around 17 years ago.”

When did your passion for it truly begin?

“Not long after my first run, I signed up for some races, including a marathon, as the ultimate carrot and stick approach. My job involved a lot of socialising, so I hoped this approach would tip the balance into a cleaner living, refreshed, glowing new me.

“I followed a marathon training plan but I only really hit about half of the milestones on it. Optimism just about carried me through it all, as well as listening to loud music. But my real love of running came much, much later. I started really embracing the benefits of it – not being ‘target’-based or thinking about times – just about the pure enjoyment.”

Has its purpose in your life evolved over the years?

“My appreciation of running has only grown over time. I see it in a much more holistic way now – it influences every part of my life and how I feel. I have made great friends from it, taken part in some wonderful events, run in other countries and in all weathers, challenged myself and accepted my limitations.

“Some of us are honestly fine being at the back of the pack and taking it all in. My physical and mental wellbeing has been equally improved by having it in my life. People use the hashtag #RunHappy online and it’s my only goal – enjoy it, as even what you consider a ‘bad run’ can be a positive.”

If older people can feel more connected, more a part of a community, and more like their experiences are appreciated, then that’s a fantastic reflection on the work Age UK does.


What running events have you done before?

“I’m lucky enough to have done three London Marathons for Age UK. I also did the Berlin Marathon in 2017, which taught me a lot as I went into it injured, and came out of it worse. It helped to give me some perspective: you don’t want to miss an event but you need to listen to your body and think more long-term.”

An older man, Ernie, holding a baby
Scott as a baby with his beloved grandfather, Ernie
An older man, Ernie, holding a baby
Scott as a baby with his beloved grandfather, Ernie

How do you go about choosing a cause to support (or does it choose you)?

“We have people, or experiences, that lead us to supporting certain causes – and we just follow our hearts. Running with someone in mind is always great motivation.”

What is your personal impetus for running in support of older people?

My Grandad, Ernie, 100%. He coped well when my Nan passed away, but it wasn’t easy for him. I never wanted him to feel lonely – that was always my worry. Even though he didn’t live nearby, we spent time with him whenever we could and I made sure I phoned him a lot, to chat about sport in particular. Getting him to read me the football scores on Teletext was always hilarious, as he waited for the page to refresh.”

How much do you know now about Age UK’s work?

“A fair amount, having followed and supported for a few years now. I think Age UK does incredible work on behalf of the older population. Helping older people to feel represented and empowered in a world where there is a lot of competition for attention.

Helping people to navigate the fast-moving landscape and not feel isolated is the main one for me. If older people can feel more connected, more a part of a community, and more like their experiences are appreciated, then that’s a fantastic reflection on the work Age UK does.”

Age UK Marathon Runner Ben

Watch Ben, another runner for Age UK, discuss why he ran the London Marathon and how he prepared for the almighty feat.

What gets you through the tougher moments during these challenges?

“Thinking of the people who supported me and the great work Age UK does. You can also be a little, tiny bit selfish as well – I love running, so having some motivation to get out the door was actually quite healthy for me in January. There were moments – when the temperature dropped to freezing – that I might have questioned what I was doing out there, but it soon passed.”

How heartening is it to get great support from family, friends and colleagues?

“People really are so incredibly generous, and that support is so motivating. The goodwill and kind words really help to you to do your best. I cannot thank people enough. It reminds you of how many good, kind people there are.”

What advice would you give for someone planning to do a running challenge, or any other kind of sponsored challenge for Age UK?

“Consistency is really important – planning some routes also really helps. You might even want to incorporate what you’re doing into your commute to and from work, if you're comfortable with that, or just part of the journey. I find having ‘home’ as my destination really helps.

“Also, try to be kind to yourself! We all go in with great determination but your motivation levels can be affected by factors like work, family, stress etc. Set realistic targets and make sure you factor in rest days, but mainly just try and enjoy it. People will love the occasional update on your progress too – don’t forget those who have already donated to your page, keep them engaged, just a couple of lines in an email, on social media or in a text to say: ‘Hey everyone, it’s going well…’ or ‘It’s been a challenge but thought you’d like to know…’ People really appreciate that inclusion and involvement.”

Apply for a place for TCS London Marathon 2025

Help make a crucial difference to the lives of older people by signing up to run next year's TCS London Marathon for Age UK.

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Last updated: Apr 25 2024

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