Fan Running The London Marathon As Freddie
This coming weekend, Stuart Jones will be running the London Marathon in aid of the MPT – you can donate just £1 to his Just Giving page (http://www.justgiving.com/stu-jones) to support him and put the MPT in the running to win the Just Giving marathon competition.
The MPT is hoping that Queen Fans in London will turn up to cheer him on - Stuart's number will be 6492, though you could potentially identify him as the one dressed as Freddie, providing the costume is sufficiently breathable!
Any support, whether through a donation or motivating Stuart on his way around the race would be much appreciated by all of use here at the MPT and will help raise awareness in the fight against AIDS Worldwide.
Marathon Man Interview
MPT: You're running the London Marathon this year on behalf of The Mercury Phoenix Trust. There's not long to go now until the race, how have you found the training?
SJ: I was fortunate enough to get a place through the ballot system, which means I've known for about 6 months that I'd be running.
Since then I've been out about 3 times each week, varying from short, 30 min runs, building up to some runs lasting nearly 4 hours! Clearly I'm not quite at world record pace but I've managed to get some miles behind me.
I'm told that getting to the start line injury free is at least half the battle, so fingers crossed for the next few weeks.
MPT: Has it taken up much of your free time then?
SJ: It's a big commitment, balancing training runs with work and family time. I'm also the singer and bassist with Band de Jour, so fitting in practice and gigs has added to the fun!
MPT: Have you ever run a marathon before?
SJ: Yes, I ran the London Marathon 28 years ago, when I was just 18.
MPT: How did you get on?
SJ: I'm glad to say that I managed to finish it. It had taken me about 9 minutes to cross the start line and I finished with 4 hrs, 35 mins on the clock, so I'd always worked on the basis that it had taken me 4 hrs 26 mins. Of course now, everybody's individual time is recorded using a chip on their shoes, so it's a lot more accurate.
A couple of years ago, my partner ran it and finished in 4 hrs, 25 mins, 50 seconds. 10 seconds inside my time!!!
I'd love to beat her time (not that I'm competitive of course!). I think she's quite glad that it's looking like I'll finish closer to the 5 hrs mark this time around.
I guess 28 years can slow you down a bit, although I think a re-count of my original time should be in order.
MPT: Have you managed to keep fit in that time then?
SJ: Sort of, I worked as a ski instructor for a while and I still like to run around a football pitch occasionally, but I now feel much, much fitter than I have for years (as well as shedding a few pounds in the process!).
MPT: What brings you to support the MPT?
SJ: I've had a strong affection for the charity ever since I was fortunate enough to be part of the audience at Freddie's Tribute Concert. Having been a Queen fan since the 70s, Freddie's death came as a huge shock to me, it was such a tragic loss.
It may just be a co-incidence that I got a place in the marathon this year, but it also happens to be such a big year for the band too – celebrating their 40th anniversary and of course, remembering the 20 years since Freddie died.
On top of that, I'm also the same age now as Freddie was when he died. I know I still have so much ahead of me that I can't help thinking that despite leaving an incredible legacy, had Freddie still been with us, he would've produced so much more fabulous music.
We can't change the past (not even my marathon time from 1983!), but if I can help make a difference to somebody's future by running a few miles to support the tremendous work that the MPT does, then that's got to be worthwhile.
MPT: Thank you. If you'd like to support Stuart's run, you can sponsor him on his justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/stu-jones.