Kind-hearted Robert Clare is using his own difficult childhood as a driving force to help prevent other youngsters from suffering in the future.
The 27 year-old from Ilkeston is gearing up to run the London Marathon in a bid to raise cash for children’s charity NSPCC.
Robert was in and out of foster care as a child, and his desire to help others has become even more prominent after finding out he is soon to become a dad himself.
Robert, of Atherton Road, said: “I have chosen NSPCC for a few reasons. Firstly, I come from a foster care background, so I know how difficult it can be and some of the things children can be exposed to.
“Children are so vulnerable and do not deserve to be treated in any negative way whether that be abuse or neglect. As we all know this can have a long-lasting affect on the child into adulthood.
“We tend to blame adults for actions they have done or not done, but a lot of the time it is because of the neglect and issues they faced as youngsters.
“Another reason to support NSPCC is that I am about to become a father for the first time, so I think my newfound sense of becoming a parent has pushed me in this direction.
“If I can do my bit and raise some money then maybe a child or two could be saved. If everyone does their bit I think we can make a real difference.”
Robert has been training hard since signing up to the gruelling 26.2-mile event on April 23. He is a keen football player and has been running regularly since December.
“My training is normally three runs a week. I’ll do two runs of ten miles, which consists of two-minute jogging, 30-second sprinting and one-minute walking recovery. The third run will be about 18 to 20 miles, which is great practice.
“Training has been hard, I have tendinitis at the minute from running, so I have replaced that with swimming for the past.
“I am hoping I recover quickly and can get back out – I have managed to run 230 miles since December.
“I have also tried to give up chocolate but it’s very difficult as my partner Laura is eight months pregnant and is always craving chocolate!”
But Robert is no stranger to a charity challenge.
He said: I have done skydiving, a Leicester to Skegness bike ride and took part in ‘Tough Mudder’, so this will be a good one to add to the list.
“I have done a couple of marathons before when I was around 18 to raise money but nothing major since then, so this really will be a massive challenge for me.”
Whilst Robert is determined to finish, he hasn’t set himself a time limit just yet.
“Time wise I suppose it depends on what happens on the day and how I feel.
“I would hate to race ahead only to be killed off after mile 20 and not finish.
“My goal was to ultimately to complete 0 to 26 miles in four months which was the challenge.”
And the finish line holds great excitement for Robert – an end to an alcohol ban and a chance to put his feet up.
“It sounds bad but I am most looking forward to finishing the marathon.
“I’m excited to cross that line and experience the atmosphere, but it will also be celebrating the months worth of effort in preparation.
“I have been on a strictly no-alcohol policy which was hard during Christmas, so I’ll look for ward to having a drink, a chocolate bar, putting my feet up and hopefully not suffering the constant aches pains and sores I have been getting.
“But most importantly I am looking forward to hopefully celebrating the birth of my new baby girl – part of my inspiration for doing this.”
Robert has raised £1,000 of his £2,000 target.
To donate text ROBS52 then amount to 70070, or visit: www.justgiving.com/robert-clare.