Seven runners to chase the streets of London for Brathay Trust
Seven runners are hoping to raise £12,250 to help some of the UK’s most vulnerable children and young people, by running this year’s London Marathon (Sunday 26 April).
Their commitment and fundraising is in support of Brathay Trust and their work with 7,000 youngsters every year, many of whom struggle at school, are at risk of sexual exploitation or are in, or leaving, care.
Brathay is able to offer Golden Bond places to runners who miss out on a ballot place in the most popular marathon on the planet. Nearly 458,000 people registered for 17,000 ballot places in the 2020 London Marathon setting a new world record for a third successive year. Out of the UK applications, more than half were from those who have never run a marathon before and about half were from women.
Three of Brathay’s Golden Bond runners are women, two of whom are from Kendal, Jude Swan and Gina Pennington, and its Laura Murray’s first marathon having taken up running less than a year ago.
Jude Swan, who is a chef and self-confessed foodie now working in food wholesale, said:
“As I run I will be remembering professional chef Matt Campbell, he was such a lovely guy taken from us too early. I have been running for about 10 years, before then I couldn’t run for a bus. Looking back, I can’t believe where this journey has taken me, including being proud to coach triathlon and being a leader for ‘Women on the Run’, a ladies only mixed ability group that welcomes any level of runner.”
Gina Pennington, who helps run her family’s tea and coffee roasting business says she first started running in early 1997, primarily to keep fit. This will be a third London Marathon for the Brathay Trust supporter who says the testimonies of the children and young adults whose lives are turned around by Brathay are so inspiring.
Joining them are runners from around the country, including Davey Green from Cornwall, who has completed 34 official marathons for Brathay out of a total of 219 marathons. Davey says depression and anxiety has been part of his life since his early teens. He says running marathons was his way of ‘punching a way out of it’ and that he wishes his teacher, who believed he could do great things, could see him now.
Davey said: “Every day is like overcoming a marathon for some people, all I do is make it look achievable although I don’t claim to make it look easy. I simply keep on plugging away until I see light at the end of the tunnel, or a nice bling medal.”
Richard Rex, who is from East Yorkshire, explains that his first marathon, was as a Golden Bond London Marathon runner for Brathay in 2013. Rex said:
“I have completed 130 marathons since my first in 2013, and with good health I am looking forward to adding to this. Although I enjoy challenging myself over marathon distance, it is raising funds for the charity that is the main motivation. I continue to be inspired by the stories and testimonies of the children and young adults whose lives are turned around by Brathay – ‘there but for the grace of God, go I’. Through running and with the truly wonderful support from those around me I’ve been able to raise £25,000 in the last six years for Brathay.
The two other runners are South Manchester’s Phil Ainley, who will be 47 on the day of London Marathon. He says he got into running after smoking led to asthma. Phil says he quit the habit, increased the number of runs he did each week and hopes this time to run a marathon in under four hours.
And Amarjit Bhachu who lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya, and who will be running his first marathon aged 63. Amarjit said:
“When I was younger, I was incredibly active and even represented my country as a hockey player. I first attempted a half-marathon in Nairobi when I had turned 51 and I feel now is the time for my first marathon. I am incredibly honoured to be supporting the Brathay Trust for this event, because I believe that our society and future growth is all dependent on the brilliant youth actually realising, they are brilliant.”
“All are passionate about what young people can achieve and the way Brathay helps them,” said Brathay’s Head of Fundraising, Scott Umpleby.
“For two of the runners, it’s an activity that has played a huge role in improving their mental health, for some it balances out a love of food and for others its proof that even the most sedentary of people can achieve marathon distances.
“Running a marathon is an enormous personal achievement. Our Golden Bond runners not only complete in one of the most famous races in the world, they also raise funds to support some of the UK's most vulnerable children and young people,” added Scott.
The 2020 event is the 40th London Marathon since the event was founded in 1981 by Chris Brasher and John Disley. Chris Brasher was also involved in setting up the original Windermere Marathon in 1982 which Brathay now organises as the ASICS Windermere Marathon, another challenge event fundraiser for their work.