In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s Marathon time! We’re very lucky to have a fantastic team of 20 runners taking on this ultra-challenge and raising money for us. One of our runners is NHNN neurosurgeon, Neil Kitchen, who is a long-time supporter of the charity. This is his seventh year running for The National Brain Appeal and before race day, we grabbed him for five minutes to do a quick-fire Q&A session…

Q How are you feeling about the race on Sunday?

A Excited, of course!

Q How has your training been going?

A Well, let’s say I have ‘no injuries’, and I’ve put in a reasonable number of miles, but I know it’s not really enough…

Q Are you a keen runner, even when you aren’t training for a race?

A Yes – I’ve run and cycled all my adult life. Twice a week I try to run into work, and then at weekends the weekends I’ll generally build in a longer run. I run to keep fit and feel good. Neurosurgery is a serious profession – running is a great antidote to that – if my running can help neurosurgery patients, then it’s ideal.

Q What was your best time when you previously ran the marathon?

A My best time was 3hrs 28mins. I will be slower than that this year! But I’m hoping for under four hours.

Q Do you have any advice for our other #TeamBrainAppeal runners for getting through the 26 miles?

A Don’t go too fast to begin with. Enjoy the run and ‘slow it down’ in your mind – if you rush, you will blow up!

Q How do you keep yourself going when you hit ‘the wall’

A Don’t keep going, walk for a bit and have something to eat. That should get you through.

Q What are your plans for after the race?

A I’m going to go home and watch Arsenal play Chelsea!

Q This year, you’re running to acknowledge the bravery of your brain tumour patients. The support on JustGiving already has been incredible. You’ve almost reached £20,000 in donations! How does that make you feel?

A I’ve read lots of the comments next to donations on my JustGiving page and I’m humbled and inspired by them. People’s generosity has been overwhelming. The money I raise will go towards the Operating Theatres Appeal. The new and upgraded theatres will enable us to treat more neurosurgical patients, which can only be a good thing. Without The National Brain Appeal, many projects that have occurred during my 20 years as a consultant simply would not have happened.

Thanks Neil – and good luck!

Want to sponsor Neil running the marathon? You can do it here. You can add donations up to three months after the run.