Alistair Bates I am 63 years old, rather large and for many years convinced myself that I would never take part in a marathon.

However, in 2009 I suffered a nervous breakdown as the result of an incident at work and I was not able to return to my former employment. After many months hiding from the world I eventually ventured out by walking and cycling. I found that this was something that gave purpose to my life but was also something that I can control.

Years before I had taken part in short-distance triathlons and as I got fitter I decided to take up the sport again. In 2013, 25 years after my first triathlon I successfully completed a half-Ironman length event and ran my first half-marathon.
The following year I completed my first full distance triathlon and have now completed three. I was intending to take a break in 2017 but was persuaded to enter the London Marathon. I completed in a time of just over five hours - although for four days the tracker showed me to stuck at 40km!! A few days prior to the day, I had the opportunity to meet with Prince Harry when he opened the Marathon Expo.
I completed a further two events for a Treble Challenge including the London to Brighton Challenge and the Prudential ride London. I set up a website at to describe my progress and I shall add to the site this year.
I received great support from my home Rotary Club - Shrewsbury Darwin and this year I hope to my contacts in the organisation to describe both my efforts and the work of Best Beginnings.
Last year I produced a short video to show some of my struggles and this can be seen at
I am looking forward to taking part in the Marathon again and also to raising the profile of Best Beginnings and the Heads Together charities. Alistair Bates