News & Media

Tim Sorell: Blog 1

By Tim Sorrell

16 March 2016

My name is Tim and I’m a runner.  I haven’t always considered myself a runner and it still seems odd to say it out loud now, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to deny.  I loathed cross-country runs at school and used to walk as often as I thought I could get away with it.

And yet, here I am about to run my second ever marathon and my second in London.  To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to run one marathon could be regarded as unfortunate, but to run two looks like carelessness.

Completing a marathon is an achievement for anybody: 26.2 miles is a distance that demands respect and should never be undertaken lightly.  To be perfectly honest, a marathon is something that I thought would be completely beyond me.  I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009 after first developing symptoms in 2005.  It’s an unpredictable disease that affects everyone differently, but for me it mainly brought pins and needles, fatigue, numbness and a loss of muscle strength in the left-hand side of my body. I thought I might have to give up running for good in 2013 as I picked up a succession of injuries in the hip, knee and foot on my left side - injuries that were all caused by that underlying weakness.

Fast forward to April 2015, and I was lining up on Blackheath to run my first ever marathon.  How on earth did I get there?  Well, freakish luck in getting a ballot place at my first attempt aside, we can probably chalk it up to a combination of determination, a stubborn refusal to give in and let the damn disease beat me and the support of lots of wonderful people in my running life, not least my amazing wife, who ran the whole marathon and almost every step of the training by my side.

I know how lucky I am: at every MS clinic I attend, I see people in the waiting room at the hospital with their walking sticks and their wheelchairs.  I know exactly what kind of damage this disease can wreak to a person’s body and to their life.  No one can say for sure if any of these things lie in my future, but knowing what could happen makes me doubly determined to wring every last drop out of life and to push myself as hard as I can for as long as I can.  I’m also determined to raise as much money as I can through my running to support a charity very close to my heart: The MS Trust. https://www.mstrust.org.uk/

Training hasn’t been easy this year, but I know that every mile I run and every penny I raise will go towards helping people cope with the uncertainty of a diagnosis with MS.

You can find my sponsorship page here: http://virginmoneygiving.com/TCMS