Marathon man

Dr Richard Evans (58) is running the TCS London Marathon this year, despite suffering a heart attack last year. He tells us why he supports Livability, what it’s like to be honoured by the queen twice – and what he really feels about running.

Richard (left) & Jamie (right)

Why have you chosen to run the London Marathon for Livability?

I’ve been a supporter since John Grooms’ days [one of Livability’s founding charities] and this is my eighth London Marathon. The charity goes out of its way to help people who are disabled and, in a difficult environment, they are making a massive contribution. I want to help in any way I can.

How are you approaching running since your heart attack?

I’m running with my son Jamie, as I did in the virtual marathon last year, not long after my heart attack. The doctors just said be careful with what you do. He is looking after me and I take a cautious approach to training. I like running with Jamie – he’s an accountant and also studied maths, so we chat about things like average speeds etc. It probably sounds boring but not to us! I probably run seven or eight miles every other day or so and I keep a close eye on my heart rate, trying not to push myself too much. It’s about 90 days to go now.

How do you feel about running?

Genuinely? I hate it! I find it rather tedious but it’s like anything else in life, you can do it and you can put one foot in front of the other and push yourself, whether it’s A-levels or simply a Marathon.

I understand you are the only teacher who has received both the MBE and the OBE?

Apparently so. I’m shortly to go to Buckingham Palace to receive the OBE for fundraising efforts, particularly during Covid, and my MBE in 2003 was for services to education. I’m a maths teacher, have been in schools’ senior management, and I’ve always taught at state schools, some quite challenging. I’ve also been seconded to primary schools and helped turn them around. Many of my secondary school students have been successful; one in particular – Raheem Stirling – is now playing football for England and he was at quite a tough school in Brent. Many students have gone on to Oxford or Cambridge, become doctors – there’s great opportunity [for young people] and I wanted to do whatever I could.

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