What is your background, where are you from, what do you do, what is your connection to Duchenne?

My name is Stuart Molkenthin, I'm 42 years old, married to Kelly, and we have 2 amazing boys, Samuel, 10, and Elliot, 7. I grew up in West Sussex, and joined the Royal Air Force in 2001. I'm a Weapon Systems Officer, currently based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. I met James and his wife Lizzie over 10 years ago, when we flew together on the Nimrod MR2 Maritime Patrol Aircraft, based at RAF Kinloss. We also worked together at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, USA. When I found out that James and Lizzie's first child, 3-year-old Sebastian, had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, I knew that I had to do something to help, and so I started fundraising. After running the Lincoln 10K and the Great North Run half marathon in 2017, under the fundraising banner - #Run4Sebastian, I decided that I wanted to take on the iconic runners challenge - the London Marathon, in Sebastian's name.

Why did you take on the challenge of The London Marathon this year?

I entered the London Marathon ballot several times over the last few years, and was unsuccessful. I had always planned on completing a marathon only once in my lifetime, and so when I started fundraising for Sebastian and Action Duchenne, it seemed like the perfect time to take on the challenge. I was delighted when Action Duchenne offered me the honour of representing them in the worlds' most prestigious running event, and I thought it would be a fitting fundraising opportunity in support of Sebastian.

How are you preparing for the event?

I've always been very active when it comes to health and fitness, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to go out for a run, mountain biking, or hit the slopes on my snowboard. These are all things that poor little Sebastian, and others like him, may never be able to do. Even with an already good level of fitness, preparing for a marathon is a whole new level. I am currently following the FIRST 'Less is More' training plan, which fits my lifestyle, as my work shifts preclude me from training every day. With this plan, I run 3 times a week (speed, tempo, and long runs), and supplement with cross-training, and at the moment I feel like training is going well. On the fundraising side, I've set up a Just Giving page, put an article in my local village newsletter, and shared my story across social media. I'm running a prize draw to win a brand new iPhone X, with the winning ticket being picked after the closing date by Sebastian himself. I'm holding a bake sale on the 5th April in Costa Coffee at RAF Waddington, where I will also be selling tickets for a raffle to win some amazing prizes which have been donated by local businesses. Finally, Fiskerton CE Primary School, where my boys attend, have adopted Action Duchenne as their 'Charity of the Year', and so they will be holding numerous events this year, from which all proceeds will go to the charity. One of their events is particularly exciting, as the children will each be running some laps of the school sports field, which in total, will add up to a marathon.

How have the Action Duchenne team helped you in your training?

The team at Action Duchenne have been incredibly supportive since I first started fundraising in their name. They have offered me tips on training, advice for race day itself, and told me about their own experiences of running and fundraising. They have also sent me fundraising merchandise when I've needed it, and are always available to help. I'm really looking forward to meeting more of the team when race day arrives

If you'd like to support Stuart's London Marathon efforts you can donate to his Just Giving page here

Further reading