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22 April 2015

Nat Defriend started his career in front-line criminal justice services with both adults and young people, before moving on to social work and various government roles. As well as being Programme Leader at the Young Foundation, we are lucky enough to have Nat on our Trustee Board at London Youth. Read on for Nat’s blog on why he is running the London Marathon for us:

“My name is Nat and I am enormously proud to have been a trustee at London Youth for the past year. As a trustee I feel I can play a small part in the fantastic and important work which London Youth does making youth work work for young Londoners, but when the opportunity presented itself to go a little bit further and don a London Youth emblazoned vest to run the marathon for my favourite charity I jumped at the chance!

I have run marathons before, but have never taken the training or the race particularly seriously. Having got my place, I decided that this time, for this fantastic cause I would give it a real go and see how fast I could go.

So I dug out a training plan off t’internet and armed with this have run 79 times for over 950 kilometres since January the first! When I see it in black and white like that it does look like something, but I can honestly say that the idea of running for London Youth has been a constant motivation on the dark, cold Hackney nights, and that I have found it a simple matter to galvanise family, friends and colleagues to rally to the cause and donate. It’s basically a no brainer…they get to support the best charity in London, and I have to do all the work!

Today, with less than a week to go, I am niggle-riddled, famished, and looking forward to getting back to playing squash (which I temporarily renounced in a monkish gesture of pure devotion to the marathon effort) but I can’t wait to see the friendly London Youth team at the water station at mile 25 on Sunday and to be able to enjoy the occasional weekend lie-in again after it is all over!

What I would want to say to someone thinking of doing it next year? I would only say that it has been a complete privilege to be part of this wonderful effort with the rest of the marathon team to raise a bit of cash for the brilliant London youth, just as much of a privilege as it is to be a trustee (only sweatier…much, much sweatier). In two words…DO IT! And if you train up the Lea Valley canal, you may be able to enjoy the occasional chin wag with London Youth’s very own Jim Minton as the miles tick by!”

Inspired? Find out more about running the London Marathon with #TeamLondonYouth.