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50 days until Mack runs the London Marathon for the Development Fund

In 50 days’ time, Andrew Whitehead - better known as Mack to the FC United faithful - will attempt to raise £4,000 for the club’s Development Fund by running the London Marathon. We caught up with him to see how his preparations are going.

Mack’s main motivation seems to beating the targets set by former Board member George ’Baxter’ Baker, who ran last year’s race for the Development Fund. He tells us more below as we put 20 questions to him.

You can sponsor Mack by clicking here and you can follow his amusing exploits on Twitter as he tries to swap the pub for training runs by clicking here.

1. Why have you decided to run the London Marathon?
I was convinced that it would be a good idea to raise funds for the club by a few ‘well meaning’ others. Plus, I was on the ‘brink’ and now I am on my way ‘back’.

2. Any regrets?
Not really. On the eve of the marathon I’ll be ‘preparing’, so I’m gutted to be missing the proper Brackley Town v FC United shenanigans (relegation/staying up party) which sounds like it’s going to be ace.

3. Why do you want to raise money for the Development Fund?
The DF provides tangible fundraising for the ground and so is likely to provide better drinking facilities. We’ve already spunked too much away on playing budgets.

4. What was your first FC United game?
2005 v Castleton Gabriels at Gigg Lane. A million songs were born that day. Cum on Feel The Boys! Sorry! My alcohol consumption accelerated and my dignity was well over the cliff by 2007.

5. What does the club mean to you?
I love the club. I am a United fan brought up in Newton Heath, so know what FC means to the area. Who knows, maybe I’ll even get a statue/brick/few pints out of it?

6. What’s your previous experience of running?
My last recognition was about 30 years ago on my stag night. That’s a long story though and unsuitable for the official website...

7. How’s your training going?
Meh, pretty decent by my standards. I do a few jogs every week with my dog George to keep my hand in.

8. What’s been the best thing about it?
Minor adulation and George is that knackered afterwards he doesn’t pester me for tickles.

9. What’s been the worst thing about it?
Having to buy two pairs of new trainers! I’ve also lost a stone in weight. I didn’t really have the weight to lose, so I now resemble Spud from Trainspotting.

10. Do you think you’ll complete the 26.2 miles?

11. Really?
Yes, I’ll nail it.

12. At what distance do you think you’ll give up?
26.2 miles + 9’ish pints.

13. In all seriousness, how do you think you’ll do?
Better than Baxter.

14. What strategy have you got to get you round the course?

15. Strategy. You do have one, right?
I managed to run six miles non-stop the other night. And I’ve reduced the midweek drinking down by around four litres per night.

16. Last year, George Baker (Baxter) ran (walked) the London marathon in six hours and 27 minutes. Do you think you’ll beat his time? If so, how?
Yes, he’s a Yorkshire whopper. I’m double his age, victory will be easy and sweet.

17. George also raised £3,000. Are you hoping to match his achievement?
It was a decent effort last year by Baxter. But, I’m smaller, stronger, faster and almost up to £1,000 already. Thanks to everyone who’s already contributed but let’s smash the yonner’s efforts from last year here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/mack2019

18. What fancy dress are you going to wear?
A banjo or ukulele may appear at some point. My wooden gloves dripping with blood have been confined to the Broadhurst Park compost. I’m proud to think that part of me continues to feed the hallowed turf.

19. What are you looking forward to the most after the London Marathon?
Stupid question.

20. Finally, why are you called Mack?
It could be an acronym for Mobile Alcohol Consumption King... but it’s not.

First Posted ~ 19:48 Sat 9 Mar 2019
News ID ~ 8299
Last Updated ~ 03:01 Tue 16 Feb 2021