Dedicated dad's marathon challenge

A DEDICATED dad is today determined to complete a gruelling marathon challenge, despite the impact on both his mind and his body.

A DEDICATED dad is today determined to complete a gruelling marathon challenge, despite the impact on both his mind and his body.

Since making the decision to run this year's London Marathon John Reynolds has recorded the highs and lows of his intense training in sporting blog.

But although the online diary reveals the tough emotional and physical pain of the challenge Mr Reynolds said ultimately he was thrilled to be running the 26-mile course to raise funds for a cause close to his heart.

The 42-year-old whose ten-year-old step-son, Elliot, is autistic is helping the National Autistic Society and asking for the funds to be channelled to Suffolk.

Mr Reynolds, of Heath Road, Ipswich, said: “I really hope I can make a difference.

“Elliot takes everything you say to him literally. He struggles with crowds and what's right and wrong. Everything is black and white for him.

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“It can be quite hard for everyone but he's a lovely lad.

“Suffolk Autism has helped in lots of ways and has helped all the family.

“But they are always short of cash and I really want to raise as much money as possible for help them.”

Mr Reynolds, who has two other children, Rosie, five, and Archie, three, is aiming to collect at least £3,000 to tackle autism from family, friends, and colleagues at Anglia IT Recruitment.

To support John Reynolds visit www.justgiving.com/johnreynoldsnas.

Are you running the London Marathon for a good cause? Contact The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

John Reynolds' blog

December - December was horrible on the running front. It's really hit home how much of a commitment this is but then I guess I should have known really. I have taken to running at night in the dark so that nobody sees me.

Interestingly the guilt has set in with me if I think about not going out for a scheduled run, although Saturday mornings are a real drag to get myself going and are not fun as that is my 12-mile day.

Not looking forward to February when Saturday becomes a 15-mile day.

January - On the running front January was just as lonely on the roads as December had been. The enormity of the commitment I have made to run this thing is well and truly embedded now.

Although I am constantly tired the mental side of this for me is far harder than the physical. I'm okay once I'm out there, but looking out of the window on the Saturday morning just gone knowing I'd got to do 15-miles, while also knowing that coffee and newspapers was an option if I wanted it, was for a few minutes a tough decision.

Elliot reminded me however that 15 miles wasn't going to run its self. He's good like that, bless him.

February - My knees are constantly sore now, especially the right one and I am convinced my body is eating its self.

I am eating far more than my normal 2,000-odd calories, consuming 4,000 a day but am still losing weight. I am sleeping very well and am sure despite all my whingeing, my body and mind has benefited from all this. Mentally it has been the hardest thing I have ever taken on.

I am looking forward to getting this thing which has taken over my life done and dusted. It may sound odd but I can see it being quite an emotional day on the April 13. A beer doesn't feel far off now either and I'm really looking forward to that. I can visualise it. It's ice cold, about twenty foot high and it has my name written all over it.

Autism

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects the way a person communicates and relates to people around them

People with autism have said that the world to them is a mass of people, places and events which they struggle to make sense of, and which can cause them considerable anxiety

Autism is sometimes referred to as an autism spectrum disorder because, while all people with autism share three main areas of difficulty, their condition will affect them in very different ways and to varying degrees

The three areas of difficulty which all people with autism share are difficulty with social communication, interaction and imagination

Campaigners say it can be hard to create awareness of autism as people with the condition do not look disabled, and parents of children with autism often say that other people simply think their child is naughty

There are more than half a million people in the UK with autism - around 1 in 100 people

People from all nationalities and social backgrounds can have autism, although it appears to affect more men than women

SOURCE: National Autistic Society