Matthew Kieboom will be running the JCP Swansea Half Marathon for Help for Heroes on Sunday 26th June.
The JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place for the 3rd time this year and is fast becoming a favourite among the running community as it is equally suitable for first-time runners as it is for charity fundraisers, club runners and elite athletes. With its flat and fast 13.1-mile course, spectacular views and incredible crowd support, this is an event not to miss.
Matthew said: “I live in a stunning place on the West Coast of Wales, a few miles North of Cardigan. More of a plodder, I managed 2 hours 7 minutes on my last Half Marathon and am hoping for a sub 2 hour one by the end of the year.
“My main passion has been OCR Obstacle Course Races and I tend to do three to four a year as it keeps my fitness up. I’ve also recently started kayaking out at sea along the Ceredigion coastline, which is breath-taking.
“I find most outdoor exercise really helps me and acts as a form of mindfulness. I eat more than I should and struggle with keeping my weight down so am currently hefting over 90kg, but have been over 110kg. My Army ’fighting’ weight was around the 80kg mark so if I can get down to about 85kg I will be content and so will my failing joints!
“I spent a lot of my life in the Army with the Royal Army Medical Corps and was regularly on tour to overseas countries. My third tour of Iraq in 2006 was a mess and I was in and out of hospital and treatment for a few years, before being medically discharged in 2010.
“I was based just outside of Tidworth whilst undergoing treatment and, where I could, I volunteered in the Tin Hut from early 2008 until I moved away in 2010. Those were the fledgling months and years of Help for Heroes and we were blown away by the support we received from across the nation. During this time I met some truly amazing people, both staff and Service Personnel, that we were trying to help. I still have many people I keep in contact with and count as family.
“I have continued to try and do my bit by organising local supermarket collections and doing a couple of talks. I’ve also decided to keep the awareness up of what Help for Heroes does by taking part in events with their fellowship group the Band of Brothers. My last one was a 11 mile obstacle course race. Members of my local community ran around with sponsorship forms, as did my parents back in Manchester, and I ended up raising just short of a thousand pounds.
“I’m still humbled by the support and lengths people go to in order to help the Charity since the day it started in October 2007.
“I currently work for Dyfed Powys Police as a Police Community Support Officer (PCSO), covering rural communities. It’s an amazing job in a stunning part of the world and I love the fact I can have such a positive affect on so many people’s lives. I guess between serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps, being with Help for Heroes and working as a PCSO I have always felt happiest doing what I am good at, which is helping other people. Sometimes I just forget to look after myself though!
“I will never work at the levels I used to and it took me a long time to accept that. But I just go out and do the best I can each day, no matter how difficult it may be for me.”
The 3rd JCP Swansea Half Marathon takes place on Sunday 26th June 2016, and Wales’ second largest half marathon will see a record number of runners on the start line. The JCP Swansea Half Marathon starts in the heart of the city centre at the junction of Union Street and Oxford Street and takes runners on fully closed roads along a magnificent six-mile stretch of Swansea Bay towards The Mumbles and back.
Public places are sold out but runners can still sign up to run and raise money for one of the official charities including Help for Heroes.
Join the JCP Swansea Half Marathon Help for Heroes team
If you are inspired to run for Help for Heroes please visit http://www.swanseahalfmarathon.co.uk/charities/ and click on ‘Run For Us’ by the Help for Heroes logo to become part of the H4H Running Team. You will then be directed to the full details and be able to register for the event before Wednesday 22nd June.