Firstly, I’ve never run a marathon before. However, it’s been something I’ve talked about since I was a kid. I've always been the sporty type, and always loved running, but just never got round to a marathon. Combine the fact that I’m no spring chicken, and had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction 6 years ago, and an injured back for about 4 years, I thought my chance was over...
During training I felt good. A few minor hiccups, none more so than chaffing just two weeks before the marathon. Not good, but all in all the training went well. I maybe could of done a bit more, but I was cautious due to age, aforementioned injuries, and the fact that I’m a paver, and am bending down, and carrying things all day.
When I agreed to run a marathon, I said to friends that I’d like to run for a charity, but never knew anyone close to me who’d had the misfortune of having a big illness. Then a pal said, is there anything for Alopecia? This is where my google search started, and I found Alopecia UK. Ironically, my sister with Alopecia, was already aware of this great charity. So I made contact with the team at Alopecia UK, and I found them to be helpful, and the rest was history.
I initially thought that my friends would have found it not to be as important a charity as say another, more well-known charity. But, no. They all found it amazing that I’d chosen a charity which represented something that has lived with me for a good 30 odd years. I was amazed and taken back as there was nothing like this when I was young, and had my suffering stages. Me, the 10 year old boy with Alopecia. It was a tough, as we all know what kids are like. 
After the marathon., I felt a great sense of achievement. 1% of the population has completed a marathon. I’m sure this is rising. But, what a list to be on... also, the amount I raised was incredible (over £2,000!), and something I’m proud of also.
As for my time, I was semi-disappointed. I was on for an amazing time, but at 15 miles my groin seized up, then at 20 miles, I pulled my hamstring. Still, 4 hrs 14 mins, under the circumstances isn't too bad. I know I have better in me, so who knows. Watch this space...

A HUGE thank you to Darren for his amazing efforts in the Manchester Marathon. A brilliant achievement and a phenomenal amount of money raised for Alopecia UK. 

Darren's page is still open to donations if you would like to leave a small donation in recognition of his efforts