"As a former inspector with the Met Police, I saw firsthand the effects of domestic abuse"

Duncan is running the London Marathon in October to support Hestia. Here, he explains why

I was originally going to run the London Marathon for Hestia in April 2020. My plan was to run The Fellsman, an ultra-marathon in Yorkshire, on the Saturday, and then the London Marathon on the Sunday. I’d ran The Fellsman eight times before, and this was the first time I’d got accepted to run the London Marathon despite living in London for most of my life, so I made the decision to do both.

The pandemic put an end to that plan. The London Marathon was pushed back to October 2020, and then again to October 3rd this year.

The main reason I chose to support Hestia is my good friend John Mahoney, who is Hestia’s volunteering manager. He inspires me in the way that he believes so strongly in Hestia’s cause. He is unwaveringly committed to the work Hestia does. As I believe in him, his dedication was enough to make me interested in running for the charity.

The second reason is my own background. I was a detective with the Metropolitan Police until I retired from the force last year and qualified as a secondary school teacher. For a while, I was the police representative at Newham’s Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference (MARAC). A MARAC brings together local services and official bodies to discuss high-risk domestic abuse cases.

I saw first-hand the effects of domestic abuse and heard from charities who support and provide housing for survivors. As Hestia is one of the largest providers of domestic abuse support in London, it was quite an easy connection to make.

I chose the London Marathon as I’ve been running for about 15 years now. I sort of got into running by accident: I was cyclist mainly who rode my bike into work every day. I felt like I needed something different to try at the weekends, and running was a good fit. It helped that I was quite good at it.

I prefer running in the countryside, as you’re able to get into your own space, have your own thoughts and work things out in your head.

Because I’ve been running for so long, I tend to get most of my training through my active lifestyle. For example, at the end of August, I did a 94-mile run in the French Alps. The distance of the London Marathon doesn’t worry me!

I’m grateful for any donations I receive; if anything can be given to a cause I believe in, I’m happy.