Vincent Murphy

I am running the London Marathon this year for Good Chance and am proud to do so. Good Chance believes that everyone deserves to live with dignity, whatever their situation, and that theatre and art can provide that dignity. Joe Murphy (my son) and Joe Robertson, two aspiring playwrights, founded the charity and Good Chance established its first theatre space in the heart of the refugee and migrant camp in Calais in September 2015.

The theatre, a large geodesic dome structure, was an open and welcoming space promoting freedom of expression, creativity and dignity in a situation where those basic human rights were constantly under threat. The theatre became the civic and cultural centre of the camp, a truly cross cultural space, and a powerful voice in the international conversation about the refugee and migrant crisis. The theatre's name came from a popular phrase used by the camp's residents. "Good Chance" or "No Chance", referring to the perceived likelihood of crossing the border that night. Within the chaos and uncertainty, the theatre was a stable and safe place where people could escape or confront the difficulties they were facing. It offered a different kind of good chance.

Following the closure of the Calais camp, the two Joes have set up the theatre again in Paris to support the burgeoning population of refugees in that city.

I would be thrilled if you could support me to raise money for this cause.


Reflections on training and running the marathon 

"So there I was at my running club AGM last November, waiting for them to make the draw for the two London marathon places the club had been allocated. I was feeling confident as there were only 5 people in the hat and I felt it was my week as I had managed to get on to a Radio 2 earlier in the week on Ken Bruce's Popmaster quiz (21 points by the way!!). Sure enough The first name read out was..........Vince Murphy!!  

The initial delight soon turned into the sober realisation that I had about 21 weeks hard training to do!! The only advantage I had was that I had done it twice before so I knew exactly what was ahead of me. Initially I was just going to run for myself but then my son, Joe Murphy, said " Great........run for Good Chance, be our very first charity fund raiser"!!! Yes, I thought, great idea, I had never been out to the Calais Jungle so was keen to do something to help and this seemed to be my way to do that.

When you do a marathon the recommended training period is  16 weeks. I had 21 at the point I was accepted so a long grind ahead. The great thing about the London is that you do all your training in the winter ( which I like as I hate running in the heat). But it's a bit tough at times as those cold Winter evenings are not the most alluring when it comes to running.

Averaging 35 miles a week, I tried to run at least 4 times a week and at least one of those runs had to be over 13 miles. Grind, grind, grind!!! Running along the North Wales coast at Colwyn Bay on a cold January midweek evening brought it home to me that this was going to be hard. But at times like that it's great to be running for a great cause, as I would think, "this is easy compared to the marathons the refugees have had to undertake as they have literally crossed the world."

The training all went pretty well and I hit the start line well trained and absolutely buzzing. There's nothing that quite prepares you for the feeling you get doing the London marathon. Yes, ok, it's a long way, but knowing that every single person in the massive crowds is just willing you on is pretty inspirational. I always say it's the closest you will feel to being a professional sportsperson and you can really feel the power if the crowd. 

The weather was nice.....probably too nice truth be told......and I did what I tend to do, went off too fast getting completely carried away. I managed to see friends and family along the way and the 14-mile point meeting with the Good Chance crew and my family there to greet me on Narrow Street in Limehouse was just fab.

I was heading for a personal best at 20 miles but had a complete meltdown from mile 21 and struggled home along the Embankment ending up finishing in 4 hours 10 , well outside my sub 4 hour target. But frankly that was a secondary objective, the main one was to raise lots of money for Good Chance. We ended up near £1,700 with Gift Aid so I was chuffed with that."

Vincent Murphy