By Daniel Bell
Training for the Brighton Marathon is tough enough.
Doing it a couple of months after the arrival of your first-born is even tougher.
Sean Heard, from Crawley, has had to fit his preparations for this Sunday’s race around the strict demands of six-month-old Ruari, born in October last year.
Sean said: “I chose my running plan because most of the runs take one hour at most.
“That way I can help my wife, Lynda, put him to bed before I leave, or get back home quickly if he’s still awake.”
Sean, who applied for the race last year, also had his training plans affected by the extreme winter weather.
“I couldn’t train at all in December,” he said. “I only started in earnest in January with only three months to go.”
Sean’s training schedule, obtained from specialist running site Runner’s World, saw him progress gradually from a relatively easy distance of eight kilometres.
He added: “I’ve been training five days out of seven every week. I did my first 18 miler in mid-February and my second in the first week of March.”
Sean’s first 20 mile run, completed last week, gave him a taste of what is in store on Sunday. “It was very difficult but I felt I could have gone further,” he said.
“It’s 20-26 miles that I’m most worried about on the day. That’s when the pain will really start to hit.”
And what does Ruari think of it all?
“I don’t think he’s too impressed to be perfectly honest,” said Sean. “Though he might be when he’s old enough to know what a marathon is.”
Despite his son’s lack of enthusiasm, the accountant is well on course to reach his target time of three hours 50 minutes.
And the striking resemblance to Hollywood tough guy Dolph Lundgren?
“I look nothing like him.”