Head of Medical Services Michael McBride will take on his eleventh London Marathon on Sunday, April 28th, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.
The avid runner, who has covered the equivalent distance between Scunthorpe and Glasgow and back for his training, will tackle the 26.2 mile course at the end of the month after a two-year break.
Having raised close to £30,000 across his previous marathons, the former Head Physiotherapist of the Scottish National side has set his sites on potentially breaking the three-hour bracket for only the second time in London.
“Going under three hours in 2016 was the best achievement,” he said.
“That’s the target for most amateur runners. It’s the holy grail of marathon running. I did that by two seconds in London in 2013 and by 22 seconds in Manchester. The London Marathon was the first time I went under three hours though.
“I didn’t know when my chip started, so I didn’t actually know what my official time was. I had it on my watch that I was two seconds under but I didn’t know the official one and by that stage I couldn’t do mental arithmetic to work it out myself. It wasn’t until someone texted me the they’d seen it online that I knew I’d officially done it in under three hours.”
The motivation to be a runner for a number of people can often waver, just like a New Year’s resolution merely lasting beyond January 3rd, but for McBride the passion for running seems to run through his veins.
“I just genuinely enjoy it and I’ve loved doing it for as long as I can remember,” he continued.
“The London Marathon is the only one I can really do in the football season. I can’t do any of the ones abroad because I can’t get there. It’s the best one to do in Britain really as it’s so well supported and so well organised. It’s just a great event and a brilliant day.”
If you ever turn up to Glanford Park early on a match day or later in the afternoon on an office day, you can sometimes catch him running laps outside the stadium, while he has also completed the Scunthorpe Park Run on a Saturday morning recently, seeing him come 13th out of 489 runners with a time of 18 minutes and 53 seconds. Every single run is building him up to his latest marathon in a weeks time.
“To train, it’s pretty much running,” he stated.
“I average 45 miles a week for 15 weeks leading up to the marathon with 15 runs over 15 miles. Wherever I am at the time dictates where I run. My longest run was from Glanford Park back to Doncaster. I did that a couple of weeks ago with Funso Ojo taking my car home for me. It’s just whenever I can fit it in.
“Whenever we go away on a Friday night, I’ll get up on a Saturday morning and go for a run. I run quite a bit around Doncaster and Scunthorpe and I go to the track at the Keepmoat Stadium too.”
Michael’s choice of charity is Macmillan Cancer Support which is one of the largest British charities and provides specialist health care, information and financial support to people affected by cancer. He explains the choice of charity, the sum raised in total and the target.
Indeed, if you look back to his JustGiving page from the London Marathon in 2016, he raised £1,472.28 as well as £282.50 in Gift Aid on there alone, along with further support from players at his previous club and more.
“There’s a group of us in Glasgow who have always raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support,” he said.
“When anybody does have cancer, Macmillan are the ones who always care for you, in the experiences I’ve come across. I think everybody has a personal story to do with cancer, such as someone they know and the people that I know who have died from cancer have been supported by Macmillan, so we think it’s a good cause.
“I’ve raised close to £25,000 or £30,000. As a group, we pull the total together and we’re just under £800,000. That’s a combination of marathons, cycling events, walking events or anything else we organise as a group. The target is to get to £1 million and we’re looking to get there as soon as possible.”
A lot of money has already been pledged to the cause by office staff, the players and other people associated with Scunthorpe United with everyone putting their money where their mouth is in predicting his finish time, as he explains.
“We all know the players are so competitive and rather than just asking them to donate, they want to be the one to get the right time.
“Whoever gets closest will get a drink of their choice - for some that will be Irn Bru and for others, it might be something stronger.”
His last seven London Marathon races…