Cliftonville dad who took up running to help health prepares for latest marathon challenge for charity

Stuart completed three marathons this year and is now getting ready for his next challenge

A Cliftonville dad-of-four who took up running two years ago to relieve his fibromyalgia symptoms has conquered three marathons this year with more planned for 2024.

Stuart Adams, who turns 42 tomorrow, aims to complete the London Marathon in April to raise funds for the Versus Arthritis charity and then the Berlin Marathon in September in aid of Get Kids Going.

The Southeastern facilities maintenance worker has already completed marathons in Brighton, Edinburgh and Amsterdam this year, as well as numerous half marathons and coastal runs, and says it all stemmed from trying to combat his own health issues.

Stuart said: “I started running because I have fibromyalgia and couldn’t really do much. I read that exercise helps so started running and then thought I needed to lose weight so I carried on and got a bit carried away.”

Raising money for Versus Arthritis at the London Marathon on April 21 has been prompted by Stuart seeing his mum and nan battle the condition.

He said: “My mum has arthritis and it has a massive effect on her and my nan did too so it’s in my family but not coming my way – I had the blood test.

“I wanted to do something to help as I have watched how it affected them and it’s really sad.

“I just think that I love running so why not make it for something too.”

Stuart says he is already running “all the time” but training needs to be stepped up for marathons over the course of 16-20 weeks.

He said: “Training for marathons is more intense. You build up to go faster and longer so some sessions will be faster and every week you go a bit longer and then bring the two together.

“I have worked out that Christmas Day will be the first day of my training plan over 16 weeks. I’ll start Christmas morning and the kids will have to wait for their presents while I go for a run which they aren’t pleased about! They are mostly grown up but still not impressed.”

Stuart says he will kick off with a five to 10 mile run, or maybe further, leaving at 6am to make sure it is out of the way before Christmas dinner.

Wife Maria said: “I am so very proud of his achievements.”

To take his place in the London Marathon for Versus Arthritis Stuart needs to raise a minimum of £2000 and has so far reached just over halfway.

The Berlin Marathon for  Get Kids Going is also a cause Stuart feels close to. He said: “The charity helps children with disabilities get into sport which is quite similar to what I’ve done, using sport to get myself up and about.”

To help Stuart reach his London Marathon target visit his fundraising page by clicking here

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