I'm Nimesh. I'm 22 years old and I'll be running in the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon for Mencap.

Why I'm supporting Mencap

I'm raising money for Mencap as I'd like to see them be able to run more projects to help people with a learning disability. Like the Me Time project that I go to in Hillingdon, West London, which I started going to because I wanted to socialise more and get involved in some exciting activities.

Me Time has helped me become more confident in my speaking, and has encouraged me to take part in different activities and try new things. I've done things that I'd not tried before, which I might not have had the opportunity to do anywhere else. It's been great to meet new people and make new friends. I've even started to learn how to swim!

That's why I want to help Mencap by fundraising and taking part in the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Fundraising is out of my comfort zone, so I wanted to try it and raise as much money as possible, as I like to push myself now!

I've done four half marathons and four 10k runs since September 2016, but out of all the races I've done this is my first time fundraising.

How I'm finding training

I started training last November. I've run up to 11 miles so far, and I'm going to increase the distance slowly, week by week. Every Sunday I want to increase my distance by 1 mile until I get up to 20 miles. 

I train 3 or 4 days a week, with track running and long distance. But, I don't just do running to train though; I also do weights and martial arts. I do something called Wing Chun, which is a martial art that focuses on finding the quickest and efficient way of moving, which I find helps with my marathon training. I find this all helps with my discipline; sometimes I don't feel like going out to train, but something inside me keeps me committed and going forward.

What inspires me

Bruce Lee inspires me. He said "Be like water, my friend" which to me means that you need to flow like water, and be relaxed when you're running. If you tense up you get tired and worried. You have to pace yourself; don't run too fast or try to compete with anyone else. I only compete with myself to make sure I am proud of what I want to achieve.

When I'm running I feel like I'm flowing.

My goal is to finish my marathon in 4 hours and 30 minutes, but I won't be disappointed if I don't do manage that time. I'll just be happy to complete the 26.2 miles!

Looking forward to race day

I can't wait to take part; it'll be a good challenge. 

I like the feeling that you get when you cross the finish line in a race and the reward of getting a medal. I love the atmosphere too, the people watching push you on. It gives me goosebumps when the crowd are calling your name out. It's like you're part of something special, it's a really good feeling. I think it will be a great experience!

I hope that other people with a learning disability might see me taking part in the London Marathon and be inspired to try and create something new with Mencap, maybe even trying to run a marathon too!

Show your support

Mencap does a great job supporting people with a learning disability, they do things like helping to create employment and social opportunities. 

If you think you'd like to sign up for an event, take a look here.

If you'd like to support Nimesh with his fundraising, take a look at his Just Giving page.