Record number of runners taking on Virgin Money London Marathon to raise money for Jersey Hospice Care

Nine runners, with a mixture of experience and enthusiasm, will be taking on the Virgin Money London Marathon at the end of April, in support of Jersey Hospice Care.

Rev Mark Barrett, Hannah Bechelet, Tom Boswell, Sarah Harris, Adrian Gordon, Matthew Gordon, Mark Kelly, Martin Knox and Gemma Tilly have been training throughout the winter to prepare for completing the gruelling 26.2 mile course, all hoping to cross that finish line in The Mall.

There is range of experience: for Matthew and Mark Barrett it will be their first marathon, while Adrian has already completed 18. In fact, Mark Kelly will have already run one marathon in April, as he’s taking part in the Paris Marathon on 14 April.

Many have chosen to support Jersey Hospice Care having seen first-hand the support that the specialist palliative care offers to people with any life limiting illness. Sarah has been supporting Jersey Hospice Care for many years. She said, ‘I like to support Jersey Hospice Care with my fund raising initiatives because I think the incredible support offered by Hospice is crucial. People very dear to me have spent time at Hospice and so I have witnessed first-hand how amazing the care and support offered actually is. It’s vital that Hospice is supported by the community because it is self-funded and therefore can only continue to operate and provide the amazing services it does if it receives adequate support.’

Father and son, Adrian and Matthew, have enjoyed training together. Matthew credits his father with getting him into running in the first place. ‘As a young boy, I’ve seen what it takes to complete this challenge, as I have great memories of supporting my dad from the side-lines and cheering him on to the finish line. He was the one who got me into running and having completed the Great North Run, local half marathons and countless 5k’s, I now have the opportunity to run the hardest challenge to date with the man who has inspired me from the beginning.’

For Hannah, taking part this year is a chance to overcome memories of crashing out last year in the record temperatures. ‘Last year, I was given a space, did all the training and raised more than £4,000 but unfortunately collapsed at mile 11 in the record heatwave weather. I was distraught to have not been able to finish and even before the paramedics arrived was asking my mum if she thought Hospice might let me run for them again. (Unfortunately for her!) I was delighted that Hospice has let me and I am determined to finish what I started and complete this marathon.’

Each of our marathon runners has pledged to raise a minimum of £2,500. Between them, they will have raised enough to run Jersey Hospice Care for a day (over £18,600).