Meet Mark Searle
We caught up with Mark Searle, who leads the congregation at St Mary Magdalene Church in the centre of Torquay, about running London's Marathon for Exeter Cathedral.
Mark, tell everyone a little about yourself
The first 18 years of my life were spent in Exeter but I now live in Torbay with Meghan and our 4 children.
In 2003 I was ordained in Canterbury Cathedral and I have been leading St Mary Magdalene Church in the centre of Torquay since 2010. We work with some of the most broken and marginalised in our community
When did you start running marathons?
I have been running on an off since the age of 15 but my first marathon wasn't until 2008. The 2016 London Marathon will be my 5th Marathon in total. In London last year I managed 4hr 06 so I really hope I can beat 4 hours this year and set a new personal best.
What inspired you to run the London Marathon for Exeter Cathedral?
During my late teens I spent many evening on the Cathedral green, often not in a very good state, but always wrestling with and talking with others about the Christian faith. In those years the magnificence of the Cathedral provided a reminder of the unshakable glory of God and inspired my faith. Now my parents are part of the Cathedral community so it is a real privilege to have the opportunity to run on behalf of Exeter Cathedral. This year I will also be running with my Mum and Brother, Liz and Tim Searle.
How do you cope when things ‘get tough’ during a long run?
Every runner's fear is hitting the wall - the point where you have no energy left and your legs decide to stop working. For me this have happened in every marathon so far, but with training I have managed to make it happen later and later in the race.
The battle is in the mind as well as the body. For me running and prayer go hand in hand. I run in order to help me pray and so when things get tough I pray for people and communities that are in need.
About the London Marathon
The 2016 London Marathon takes place on Sunday 24th April 2016 and follows a route through Greenwich and Blackheath before crossing Tower Bridge and moving past some of London's best-known landmarks to the finish in front of Buckingham Palace.
Mark's London Marathon effort comes just one week after he finished the Brighton Marathon.
To sponsor Mark please visit his donation page.