One of the greatest things about running for the National Autistic Society (NAS) on the 2 Marathon, 2 Continent, 7 Day Challenge is the fact that it is for an extremely worthwhile charity, which for those of you how have been following our families story, will realise that it is also a very personal pilgrimage for me.

However, it is also worth mentioning that the National Autistic Society do an absolutely amazing job of getting the NAS Marathon Team together to share stories and inspire/support each other through the lead up to the main event in April.
One of the things that NAS do is to link all runners together through a shared social media Facebook page. It’s a really positive way of information sharing, encouraging each other and sharing new ideas for fundraising.
This is where the subject for this post has been born …


A Wristband of Recognition for Every Mile

This idea actually came from a fellow runner, but a lot of us love the idea so much, we are also going to adopt it. As many of you know, each marathon will consist of a gruelling 26.2 miles. What I have decided to do is wear a total of 27 silicone wristbands for each stage of both the Virgin Money London Marathon (VMLM) and the Borneo International Marathon.

I am dedicating one wristband per mile to a special person or organisation.

That may be someone who has either supported me, inspired me, encouraged me or otherwise in this mammoth challenge that I am about to undertake. For example, Mile 1 wristband may read something like this: VMLM – Mile 1 – Dedicated to Mum and Cox

There will be huge crowds gathering along the road at both events, so it is my intention as I cross each mile to take off the wristband and hand it to one of the spectators.

The wristbands – Who and Why …

So my line up for the 26.2 miles at the time of writing is as follows:

Mile 1 – Dedicated to Mum and Dad Cox. This is because they have been there for me and supported me from the very start. From the moment Gracie was diagnosed they have been a constant pillar of support from thousands of miles away. Love you guys so much.

Mile 2 – Dedicated Mum and Dad Teh. My beloved parents-in-law have been as tireless as ever in their support and continue to be huge support for us and the cause in Borneo.

Mile 3 – Dedicated to Joshua, (Gracie’s younger brother). Coming into his third year we feel sure that his witty sense of humour, laughter and giggles form an important part in Gracie’s therapy, even though they do fight like cat and dog at times.

Mile 4 – Dedicated to Brother Matt. Matt (or Mush), my awesome hard working brother and I only physically see each other now and then but the support from afar to both of us has been incredible.

Mile 5 – Dedicated to Brother Edwin. We don’t spend enough time together, but when we do, you guys shower our family with love and support.

Mile 6 – Dedicated to Cool Stuff (Brother Kevin’s company in the South Pacific). Another bro who lives too far away from us for my liking but has continued to be a solid supporter of us at every tearful turn.

Mile 7 – Dedicated to Sister Monica. You too were with us at the very beginning for the birth of both Gracie and Josh. Despite your busy Uni lifestyle, you do manage to make time for Gracie when she needs it and for that we thank you. Love you sis.

Mile 8 – Dedicated to Adrian Lee, (my incredible web-designer from KK Designs). This guy was single-handedly responsible for getting all of the social media off the map and onto the web for this challenge and the business. This ones for you buddy.

Mile 9 – Dedicated to the Fong Family. My awesome Fong’s, you were the very first sponsor on my page – the first of many. You know the challenges that we continue to go through and you are truly awesome friends. This mile is yours.

Mile 10 – Seaventures (Suzette Harris). Dearest Suzette you are at the time of writing my biggest financial sponsor for this NAS driven event and really got the pace moving fast on funding.

Mile 11 – Shangri-la Hotels and Resorts (Tanjung Aru), your sponsorship of use of the gym for all indoor training segments has been legendary. The cross-training which has been an invaluable element from the very beginning of the Penang HM preparations could not have been achieved without your support.

Mile 12 – Borneo Dream (Billy Hammond and Joanne). Thank you for your support and words of encouragement every time we have met. When things get tough you always gave and continue to give great words of support. Mile 12 is yours.

Mile 13 – Diverse Borneo (Mark Hedger). You get Mile 13. When we meet I always end up laughing with you, most of the time about when you are going to give me your credit card for the sponsorship! Haha. You are an inspiration in many ways since I have been in KK.

Mile 14 – Goes to good KK friend Allan Mah. Aside from your sponsorship you have also been a good aide when I needed words of advice whether it be through business or local knowledge about where to get support for Grace.

Mile 15 – Goes to Felicia’s Pre-School. Felicia and team you have done an awesome job of support on a daily basis with Grace at the school and have had a major part to play in her ongoing development. Yours is Mile 15.

Mile 16 – The KK Therapy Teams. This includes all of the other tertiary support that has been there for us with Grace. This includes The Therapy Tree, Hospital Likas, D’Loving Centre and the incredible Handprints team. You may seem like cogs in the wheel but have been vital in helping us mind map the progress of our Gracie.

Mile 21 – This will be around about the time I suspect that I may hit the “wall”. I may feel exhausted, discouraged and feel as if I cant go on. “Whose stupid idea was this” may be some of the phrases in my mind. It is this time where I will think of the one person who has been my rock throughout. This mile is therefore dedicated to my incredible wife Carol. You have and continue to give me my strength darling.

Mile 25 – This is dedicated to The National Autistic Society. You guys do an incredible job and I am proud to be part of it.

Mile 26 – Nearing the end, Mile 26 belongs to my Gracie. The love of my life and the essence behind my laughter and tears from the moment you have been born. This mile is yours baby.

And the final .2 miles. Thats all mine. This is the final dig deep, the final push.

Mile 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, and 24 ???

This is where the fun comes in. There are 7 miles of dedication left.
From the moment that this blog is posted, the next 7 sponsors who donate to the 2 Marathon, 2 Continent, 7 Day Challenge on this link:

https://nas-london-marathon-2016.everydayhero.com/uk/luke-1

… will be guaranteed a dedicated band.

Can you help support?
Do you wanna be totally famous and do something legendary right now?

… so now it’s your turn for you guys, the race is on xxx

Luke