Fakenham runner's 1,000-day wait for marathon almost at an end

Ian Needham, from Fakenham, is set to run the London Marathon in aid of The Lullaby Trust

Ian Needham, from Fakenham, is set to run the London Marathon in aid of The Lullaby Trust - Credit: Ian Needham

A Fakenham runner is finally set to take to the start line - almost 1,000 days after he signed up for the London Marathon.

Ian Needham will take on the 26.2-mile course on October 3, raising money for The Lullaby Trust along the way. 

Having lost his nine-week-old daughter, Kathryn, to cot death in 2011, the charity is one close to his heart. 

Ian's three children, Ben, Emma and Kathryn pictured at Christmas in 2010. Picture: Ian Needham

Ian Needham's three children Ben, Emma and Kathryn, pictured at Christmas in 2010 - Credit: Archant

Mr Needham, who lives on Norwich Street in the market town, is aiming to raise £3,000 for the trust, which raises awareness of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

“This year is a decade since I lost my daughter, and I would like readers to reflect on not taking things for granted,” he said.

“Getting CPR training can help save lives. You can also follow safer sleep advice via the trust’s website to prevent more babies from dying suddenly.

“It is truly heartbreaking to deal with.”

After separating from his partner, Mr Needham moved to Fakenham in 2018 with his two children and said it was a chance to kick-start his life again.

He wanted to complete the London Marathon before his 40th birthday, but the coronavirus pandemic meant he could not run last year.

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However, he completed several long-distance runs, including the Virtual London Marathon 2020 in North Norfolk, and both the Norwich and Sandringham Half Marathons this year.

Ian Needham is running the London Marathon in support of the Lullaby Trust. A charity which supports

Ian Needham, from Fakenham, signed up for the London Marathon around 1,000 days ago - Credit: Archant

“Last year felt like it went on forever without any goals achieved,” he added.

“I completed the virtual marathon and was left feeling like I wanted the real experience; the real buzz and real anticipation. It was in large parts a very isolated marathon, only passing a few people along the way.

“This year has been very different. I've had a good training plan and got good results with the belief my end goal is achievable.

"London this year is happening and I can't wait to fulfil my goal."

Mr Needham admitted he was feeling "a little nervous", but is "proud" his fundraising achievements nevertheless. 

He would like to thank Fakenham Stepping Stones and Clare High for their continued support. 

To support Mr Needham by donating to The Lullaby Trust, visit virginmoneygiving.com/ianneedham2.