/ by James Whitaker

It turns out that 26 miles is actually quite a long way, but we all made it. My official time was 3 hours 40 minutes and 7 seconds; pretty respectable for a first attempt but room for improvement for next time… We got back south in time for me to head up to Oxford last week to do a portrait of philosophy author Keith Ward for his publisher. Keith was great, and very accommodating, even when I started stacking cushions up to sit on (bending the legs wasn’t really working). I explained the source of my discomfort to which Keith replied, “oh, my son runs marathons”. It turns out that his son runs about 8 marathons a year, and all at an eye watering pace. Indeed the day after I had taken Keith’s portrait his son was going to run 26 miles down the side of the Grand Union Canal on route to the London Marathon a couple of days later, all to raise money for the Burns Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. As I now have a better appreciation of what madness running one marathon a week is, never mind two, I though I should give his cause a little mention.

It turns out that 26 miles is actually quite a long way, but we all made it. My official time was 3 hours 40 minutes and 7 seconds; pretty respectable for a first attempt but room for improvement for next time…

We got back south in time for me to head up to Oxford last week to do a portrait of philosophy author Keith Ward for his publisher. Keith was great, and very accommodating, even when I started stacking cushions up to sit on (bending the legs wasn’t really working). I explained the source of my discomfort to which Keith replied, “oh, my son runs marathons”. It turns out that his son runs about 8 marathons a year, and all at an eye watering pace. Indeed the day after I had taken Keith’s portrait his son was going to run 26 miles down the side of the Grand Union Canal on route to the London Marathon a couple of days later, all to raise money for the Burns Unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

As I now have a better appreciation of what madness running one marathon a week is, never mind two, I though I should give his cause a little mention.