To this day I miss John. I lived with him for 6, having met at school at 14 and then moving in together as mates in 2005 in London. He was more than a brother to me and I have a twin. He was a shoulder to cry on, a confidant, a drinking partner (wish he hadn’t got drunk on the night in question or he’d be here now) a benefactor and an all-round damn nice bloke. I carried his coffin into a crematorium of standing room only, where over 400 people listened to his family speak, like rocks of stone about their brother, finally ending with his 3 best friends and boss.
To say there wasn’t a dry eye in the house is the biggest understatement on my life. I want to run the marathon not for me, not for my family, but for John. To run round a course with his name on the back of my top ‘Running for John’ and ‘I miss you mate’ on the front would mean the absolute world to me. I write this with tears streaming down my face, trying not to wake anyone because I want to scream ‘I miss you so much mate’.
I am running the London Marathon for Missing People and I aim to complete it on my first attempt in 3 hours flat but think I can (with the right training) probably dip under 3 if I push myself. That means very good for age (33) and on that basis I’d be invited back for life. I’d run it every year and give a million pounds away if it meant I could raise the profile of this amazing charity who helped Johns familydeal with the sudden, tragic and shocking accidental death of her son who was walking home, albeit drunk (his choice) along a canal side tow path.
Were it not for the accident he would be here today. I wouldn’t have lost my best friend. We spent a week looking for him before he eventually re-appeared. I take solace from the fact I made a fuss of him when I saw him, John having flown back from Miami that day – tired, but elated to be back with his 2 best friends, myself and Dan, the 3 Amigos, dos tres.
By Virgil Andrew,
who is running the London Marathon to fundraise for Missing People