Virtual London Marathon
Published on: Sunday, October 04th 2020
In 2020 the London Marathon miraculously went ahead despite the disruption caused by COVID-19. Although the main event was six months late and could only feature professional athletes, this did not stop thousands of runners joining in all across Britain and beyond.
Our hardy fundraisers for Headway Surrey braved the wind and the rain to run 26.2 gruelling miles and do their bit to raise awareness of the charity and bring in much-needed funding.
Here are the famous five who each have their story to tell...
Ian's last long-distance race was back in the 1980s when he competed in the Bristol Half Marathon. He knew this was going to be a massive challenge so trained for over a year and shed 26 pounds in the meantime.
What he lost from his waistline was far outweighed by the money he gained and a big thumbs-up to Ian as he steadily closes in on his target of £3,000.
Ian ran his marathon in Godalming whilst listening to Paula Radcliffe and predicted at precisely which point he would have reached London Bridge if it was the real thing.
Let's hope we don't have to wait another 30 years before we see Ian on the road again.
No stranger to the London Marathon, Karen completed the course in 2016. This was only a few months before her life was completely turned upside down by a severe bleed to the brain caused by an aneurysm.
She counts herself one of the lucky ones to have reached the finishing line of near-full recovery but recognises this is not the case for everyone and is giving something back to Headway Surrey.
This will help countless others whose lives are no longer recognisable.
This is Shalaleh's impressive 12th marathon and she took a little piece of London all the way to Canada to run this year's race.
Her training regime is awe-inspiring but recognising this is nothing compared to living with a brain injury where saying 'hello' can be a huge challenge. She says about brain injuries:
Friends will drift away, work relationships change, marriages may break down and social circles evaporate.
That is why this year we are grateful she has chosen Headway Surrey to help victims towards a more enjoyable life.
Malcolm is an inspiration to us all - he was hit by a tram whilst out running in Prague and suffered a brain injury himself.
He is grateful for all the help and encouragement he received from St. George's Hospital and Headway Surrey and so is very keen to raise as much money as possible and give something back.
This was a traumatic time for Malcolm but the charity stood by his side and we are grateful for his spirit and determination to pound the streets again.
Riad knows that running 26 miles is a little bit unconventional for a non-runner but in a moment of utter madness he decided to take on the challenge of the London Marathon.
So why is he doing this for Headway Surrey? Well in his words:
Headway Surrey are dependent on financial donations. And that’s where I come in and can hopefully contribute in some small way.
Thanks Riad and to all this year's runners and all the goodness you bring to your chosen charities.