Milton Keynes man set to run town's virtual marathon in memory of his mum

A Milton Keynes man is set to run the town's virtual marathon in honour of his mother who died when he was just 8-years-old.
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Adam Johnson, from Wavendon Gate, was initially supposed to run the London Marathon on April 24, which would have marked the 30-year anniversary of his mother Sandra's death, but due to the coronavirus pandemic the iconic event was cancelled.

However, the 39-year-old has decided to take part in the Milton Keynes Virtual Marathon both to honour his mother's memory, and the people who have already sponsored towards his challenge and chosen charity, Child Bereavement UK, which helps children, parents, and families rebuild their lives when a child grieves or when a child dies.

Adam said: “I was just 8-years-old when I lost my mum. I left to go to school in the morning and my mum was well, but later that day she collapsed and died having suffered a massive heart attack.

Adam JohnsonAdam Johnson
Adam Johnson

"Needless to say, my childhood was very challenging growing up with just one parent. Dealing with bereavement is difficult for anyone, but as a child it is particularly difficult.

"Going to school every day and being told 'ask your mum' if I needed permission to go on a school trip, being told 'I will tell your mum' if I was naughty in class or not completed my homework, and celebrating mother's day and being the only kid in class to not have a mum to celebrate with; these were all extremely upsetting for me growing up.

“Unfortunately, charities like Child Bereavement UK were not around in 1990 to offer support to myself, my brother, and my dad when we most needed it. However, nowadays there is support for bereaved families."

Adam said Child Bereavement UK also delivers training to schools and professionals so children are not traumatised like he was by comments like 'ask your mum'.

Adam's MK Marathon routeAdam's MK Marathon route
Adam's MK Marathon route

So far, as of Thursday (October 1), Adam has raised £3,728.28 out of his £3,500 target.

Child Bereavement UK’s events fundraiser Lizee Graham said it was poignant for one of the marathon charity sponsorship places to go to Adam.

Lizee said: “We’re so grateful to Adam for running in the Milton Keynes Virtual Marathon in aid of Child Bereavement UK. Fundraisers like Adam make a real difference, helping us to continue supporting children and families to rebuild their lives following the devastation of bereavement.”

Mick Moore, Adam's father-in-law, said: "Adam has put in an incredible amount of training for this run in all weathers, and if this publicity manages to get one additional sponsor for him it will be worth the effort. The charity is a brilliant one to be raising money for and, I must admit, I did not even know it existed. I am very proud of my son-in-laws efforts."

The virtual marathon means runners can sign up and run the 26.2 miles in their own time, as long as it is completed before the end of October and the runner submits evidence to the organisers using tracking apps such as Strava.

For more information and to donate to Adam's run, visit his Virgin Money page here.