Joe's Story - My Marathon Journey header image

Joe's story - My marathon journey

4th May 2017

Joe Yusuf, Senior Site Manager at Berkeley Homes South East London was one of the 15 Berkeley runners that completed the 2017 London Marathon on 23 April. He was running to raise money for Shelter, the UK's largest housing and homelessness charity.

"My journey leading up to the marathon has been a roller-coaster of emotions; I experienced some lows, highs and very lows, all in the build up to stepping foot on the start line. However, my site team lived through these moments with me and encouraged me all the way to give it a go - no matter what.

"I had been very inactive for 10 years so my first outing in October was a real struggle - I only managed 800m before walking home and grabbing my inhaler! I ached for a week after that first run.

"My training from December to March was good and most importantly, I was making good progress and running up to 15 miles a time. However, on 23 March whilst out on my usual run, I felt a slight twinge in my left calf which prompted me to stop and slowly return home.

"After making my way home and attending to my family, I was struck with the most excruciating pain in my left calf - just like a painful cramp, that didn't go away.

"Just four weeks before the marathon, my physio had concluded that I had strained my muscle and the best possible solution would be to rest and stretch the calf. Obviously, this limited my ability to train prior to the grueling 26 miles that awaited me on 23April.

"On 12 April, I nervously hit the road again and managing 1 mile with no effects. Things were now looking up. A few days later, I was on the bike for an hour, again with no effects. My optimism was growing once again.

"Less than one week before the marathon, I attempted some very short runs to test how I felt. Less than a ¼ of a mile into my run, my left calf muscle pulled once again which left me barely able to move my legs. There was five days to go until race day.

"Race day came and I did not want to let down the people who had sponsored me and least of all Shelter. I decided that the best thing to do was to get to the starting line and see how far I could get. I managed to run ten miles nonstop, reaching the half way mark in 3 hours. Then my fatigue and calf cramp struck. The crowd were amazing and spurred me on with every step. Everyone was calling my name which was just the encouragement I needed to finish the trek."

"How do I feel? Shattered and aching all over. Would I do it again? Most definitely!"

How do I feel? Shattered and aching all over. Would I do it again? Most definitely!