March 21st 2016 started as any day would. I got up, I showered. Had my breakfast and got dressed, ready for work. About 7am, I left telling my mum I loved her and I would see her when I finished work.

The day passed. At 7.45pm, my phone rang and then rang again. And again. It was my mum. I answered. “Rob, it’s Pat. Your mum has had an accident!” … I raced home and my mum was being put in an ambulance! My world was starting to crumble around me. Transfer from hospital to hospital and on 3rd April she was transferred to Kirkwood Hospice in Huddersfield.

She passed away 7 days later.

This was the kick that I needed. A lightbulb moment. I hired a personal trainer and lost 7 stone in 7 months. I took up running in early 2017. I’d always sat at home watching the London marathon (normally with a tub of pringles in my hand! No joke 🤣) dreaming that one day that would be me. But I didn’t know how.

I started running at parkrun in early February 2017. My first ParkRun was 28.08! I’d never ran before in my life. I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon before I turned 27. I did it the day before in Warrington. Then I knew it was time to reach for the Marathon goal.

In 2018, I went for it in Liverpool however I was injured at mile 13. I remember sitting at the edge of the road and crying as the sweeper bus comes by. The marathon journey ended. But not for long…

Runner Feature - Rob Thewlis RunThrough Running Club London

Orange vest MediaCity 2022.

Hello York! October 2019, this is it! I DID IT … I completed York marathon in 5.53! But I knew I had more 🤣 so yep you guessed it, I signed up for Manchester 2020! Obviously that never went ahead so deferred to 2021. I’m stood on the line. I managed the first 8 miles then bust my quad and limped a further 4 miles before having to call it a day. Again not to be defeated, I went back in 2022.

Completed it in 5.57! But one thing for me. I received a race photo and it made me cry as I knew I had more in me. Now, all that weight I lost. I’d put 4 stone of it back on. I went back to my old personal trainer and was like I want to lose 4 stone and I want a PB at Manchester 2023. We went to work and I lost that 4 stone and I got that PB!! Knocking 36 minutes off my time from 2022!

This year alone, I’ve knocked 12 minutes off my half time and 12 minutes off my MediaCity 10k time.

My next race is Endure 24 where I’m aiming for 50 miles before I return to MediaCity in July.

Running gives me the breathing space when life is going at a million mph. It gives me the sense of belonging in such an amazing community. Running has given me the tools to survive. Running has saved my life!

Runner Feature - Rob Thewlis RunThrough Running Club London

Black vest MediaCity 2023.

I’m currently fundraising for mnda ahead of Manchester marathon and Leeds marathon 2024.

Much love Team RunThrough.