The Sahara, four Ironmen, now a Marathon Womble
An alumnus of St Ignatius College in Enfield, who has already run across the Sahara Desert and undertaken four Ironman Triathlons, will be taking part in the London Marathon next month to raise funds for the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Michael Frain will be running the 26.2 mile race on 23 April dressed as a Womble, the characters that have been adopted for the past 20 London Marathons by Jesuit Missions (JM) in Wimbledon, home of the Wombles! He has praised the education that he received from the Jesuits at St Ignatius College, saying that the work they do among refugees has inspired him to run for JRS this year.
"I began running as a way to clear my head," he explains. "I found out I could rock up to marathons, having only trained seven miles a week, or not training at all some weeks. I then did a Half Ironman in Galway with very little training. I crossed the line in pain, knowing I could do an Ironman."
An Ironman Triathlon is one of a series of long-distance triathlon races, usually with a strict time limit of 17 hours. It consists of a 2.4-mile (3.86 km) swim, a 112-mile (180.25 km) bicycle ride and a marathon 26.22-mile (42.20 km) run. The events are raced in that order and without a break, and it is widely considered one of the most difficult one-day sporting events in the world.
Four Ironman races later, Michael took on the Sahara, racing 258k through the desert, finishing in the top 10% of runners. "The pain and suffering I find incredibly addictive," he says.
Before the London Marathon, Michael will be running the Manchester Marathon on 2 April and the Brighton Marathon (9 April). His target for the London event on 23 April is £1275, and he is already well on his way to achieving that total. "I decided to run for JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) as I went to St Ignatius College and it gave me a great education. The work of the Jesuits and what they do for refugees is more important than ever, given what is happening today."