Fr. Chris Ferguson thanks public for their support and generosity following London Marathon
Fr Chris Ferguson took on the mammoth challenge of the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon last Sunday, but he has revealed he was more nervous about being interviewed on the BBC than the run itself.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ this week the local cleric said BBC researchers had picked up on a previous ‘Journal’ feature on his training efforts, and contacted the Foyle Hospice to bring him on live TV to talk about the charity.
“Because of the interview we had to go to hospitality, so we got to see how the other half lived in it.
“We were at one table and Andy Murray and Amelie Maurismo were sitting at another table. Bridget who was part of our group went and got a photograph with Andy Murray. Initially I was probably more nervous about the interview than I was about the marathon, but they kept it nice and short and it took a bit of pressure off.
“ I was conscious when I was doing it to highlight the hospice and the amazing work it does,” said Fr. Chris.
He also praised the team at the Foyle Hospice for their organisational skills in bringing a group of 29 people over to run the London Marathon for the charity.
“We travelled over on Saturday and most of the Hospice group went on Friday. I have to acknowledge Noel McMonagale and all the work he does organising the trips, it’s amazing.
“Everything is looked after, good organisation, good hotel, good location, and then your transfers out to the starting line.
“That was an experience in itself, the logistics of looking after 42,000 people with three different starting times.
Reflecting on the marathon, Fr Chris added: “It was an amazing weekend and an amazing atmosphere, and that’s what keeps you going to tell you the truth, they talk about the wall at 20 mile, and the last six miles were tough going, it was a tough slog.
“Bridget and Bob that I ran with, kept me honest going around and kept me motivated and I would have been lost without them.
“The hardest thing for me was the training. It’s four days a week, your short run was an hour, your medium run was two hours and towards the end the long run was over four hours, so it was a large chunk of your week. It was keeping to that and you know what our winters are like, trying to motivate yourself to go out. We often said getting to the start was probably one of the biggest achievements, so at that point we were glad.
“Support has been incredible, generosity has been incredible. If you slag you can expect it too, so I thought if I don’t finish this I’ll never live it down!”
Fr. Chris isn’t hanging up his running shoes just yet, with a wind down run this Friday he’ll soon start preparations for the Waterside Half Marathon.
“I’ll be doing the ‘half’, but I said to myself never again for a marathon, but I’m starting to think to myself ‘you never know’,” he added.