Afriend of mine challenged me to apply for the London Marathon, having himself already completed more than 20 consecutive London Marathons since his 40th birthday.
It was my 40th birthday year so I accepted the challenge. The training started after Boxing Day with a pub-to-pub seven-mile run near Horndean village. Suffice to say I was last, but I remember being pleased just to finish.
About six weeks before the race I developed a knee problem and was advised to pull out. But as I’d been given a ‘celebrity’ race number by The Cystic Fibrosis Trust and had already collected sponsorship money, I couldn’t.
So I decided to march the 26.2-mile course and set myself a target of completing sub-15-minute miles.
I started alongside TV presenter Ben Shepherd, himself a CF Trust patron and a fit bloke who was aiming for a time of around 3hr 20mins.
It was the most amazing day that I will never forget and it still brings tears to my eyes when I remember aspects of it. But with shin splints and blisters like fried eggs on both feet, I said never again.
However, a year later I was asked by legendary stuntman Eddie Kidd, who I’d been filming with, to join him doing the marathon for a children’s charity.
Badly injured in a motorcycle jump, Eddie was attempting the London Marathon with a specially-adapted frame.
Eddie had asked some celebrity friends to join him on one particular day - so I found myself with Ray Winstone, Suggs, Joe Pasquale, John Altman and Stereophonics bassist Richard Jones.
It was a tremendous effort by Eddie, who eventually took seven weeks to complete the course.
He also had us in fits of laughter when he poked fun at Ray Winstone’s Hawaiian shorts!