Downton Abbey Star Ed Speleers to Run London Marathon for Charity

By: Sarah McWilliams
April 17, 2013

Across the pond, more than 30,000 runners are scheduled to take to the streets in the 33rd annual London Marathon on Sunday. In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, London Marathon runners will be asked to wear black ribbons to honor the victims of the tragedy.

While showing their support for Boston, many London Marathon participants will also be running on behalf of various charities. One runner supporting a cause is Ed Speleers, who stars in the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning series “Downton Abbey.”

In an exclusive interview with the ATLX Channel that took place before the Boston Marathon bombing, Speleers discussed his training, goals and why he chose Pets As Therapy as his charity for the London Marathon.

ATLX: What has your training method been like to prepare for this marathon?

Speleers: It varies. This year, I have tried to keep the runs shorter and quicker during the week and keep my longer runs to the weekend. I have also been doing a lot of crossfit training in the gym to try and maintain strength, fitness and power.

ALTX: How have your workouts changed since you began training?

Speleers: I always try to change things up, because I get very bored of gyms. I love playing football, running and anything that is based on your body weight.

ATLX: You just finished filming the lead role in the feature film “Plastic” and returned to your second season on “Downton Abbey.” How do you find time to fit in training sessions with the busy lifestyle as an actor, producer and director?

Speleers: It’s difficult to get to the gym, but with running all you need is trainers [that’s running shoes for Americans], so you can be anywhere at any time. There are few sports like that.

ATLX: What motivates you to run marathons?

Speleers: I think it keeps me focused. Also, I can’t play competitive sports that often, so it’s something that I can challenge myself and try and go one better each time.

ATLX: Does your typical diet change while training?

Speleers: The great thing about marathon training is you can eat what you want!

ATLX: Since this isn’t your first marathon, do you have any goals for this race? Are you training to beat your personal best or are you running for enjoyment?

Speleers: I am trying to beat my personal best. [Speleers ran his first London Marathon two years ago in 3 hours 40 minutes. He recently ran the Brighton Half Marathon and finished eight minutes outside the “elite” category.]

ATLX: You recently celebrated your 25th Birthday. Did you take the day off from training or do anything special?

Speleers: I did take some time off and met up with a few mates and enjoyed the delights of London.

ATLX: This year, you are running for Pets As Therapy (PAT), an organization that provides dogs and cats to patients. What made you choose this particular charity and what makes it a worthy cause?

Speleers: I have a young dog, so PAT felt very relevant to me. I also felt for all the great work they do in offering therapy and support to those in need. They had quite a low profile, so I wanted to try and do whatever I could to boost that and raise awareness to this great charity.

What you can do to support Speleers and Pets As Therapy:

Pets As Therapy provides temperament assessed and vaccinated dogs and cats with registered volunteers to hospitals, hospices, residential care homes and many other establishments. PAT benefits more than 100,000 people every week in the United Kingdom.
Please give what you can at Any donation at any size will help and will be gratefully received. All donations go directly and securely to the charity at the time that you make the donation. Donations can be made from anywhere in the world. If you’re a U.K. taxpayer, please select “Gift Aid” when making your donation. If you’re on Twitter, spread the word by using @EdSpeleers, @LondonMarathon and @PetsAsTherapyUK in your tweets.

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