alanAlan and the London Marathon

Alan shares his story about living with tremor and his plans to run the London Marathon for the NTF.

Earlier this year I decided it would be a good idea to submit my name to run the London Marathon in 2018 via their lottery system. I wasn’t successful, and to be honest I exhaled a huge sigh of relief.

That was until I found out that the NTF had selected me to be their one and only entrant, running on behalf of the charity; my stomach has been in knots ever since!

I’ve had a tremor since I was a child and I got diagnosed with essential tremor when I was about 17. I’ve taken propranolol since then, which really does help, however I’ve always struggled with the embarrassment of having shaky hands.

My tremor is often so mild that it goes unnoticed; however since I was a teenager it’s been a huge issue for me, mainly because of embarrassment, fear, and the fact that I always try to hide my condition from others. The tremor has in a way been debilitating for me, and throughout my life has often dictated what I could, and couldn’t do - what I could eat, what I could drink , if I could go out, and what I could work at, the list is endless…

Then earlier this year I happened to be looking at the Portsmouth visitor Information page and I noticed that Jackie from the NFT had organised a local coffee meeting in Southsea for anyone who had essential tremor. First I thought coffee? I can’t hold a cup and saucer, so how can we meet up for coffee? I’ had never heard of the NTF before and I’d never met anyone else who had essential tremor, however I went along and it was really lovely to meet others there with the dame condition, and to finally realise that I should no longer be embarrassed.

Later when I heard that the NTF had a charity place in the London Marathon, I jumped at the chance. Not only would the marathon would be good for me personally and get me fit again, but it would be an amazing opportunity for me to do something positive about my tremor, and to raise awareness about the condition.

I have always run a little bit, and even completed the Great South Run in 2016, however this will be my first marathon, and it’s the London Marathon of all things. My training started as soon as my place was confirmed and I now run about 4 times per week and I’m slowly increasing the distance and my speed until I’m ready for the 26 long miles ahead of me in April.

This will be the first that that my tremor hasn’t been restrictive, in fact, in many ways it’s enabling me to run the marathon and for once have a very positive influence in my life.

The London Marathon is taking place on Sunday 22nd of April 2018. Please have a look at my fundraising page and donate what you can, with all donations going directly to the NTF, and if you live in London or nearby then please come along and cheer me on.

Help Alan raise funds at