600 miles in one day - meet our 2010 London Marathon team


Posted by Laura Coakley on 25 February 2010

Allocating our charity bond places for the Virgin London Marathon 2010 was a marathon challenge in itself. Over 100 people applied for just 16 places. All of the applications were strong on individual merits with nearly everyone having personal experience of meningitis and septicaemia, with some heart-wrenching stories. Ringing to tell people they hadn’t been selected was more difficult than I expected, as you could hear the obvious disappointment in their voices. On a brighter note, telling our chosen few that we would love to have them run for us was like making Christmas come early. All were happy, a lot were surprised, and everyone was determined to make the most of the opportunity.

I’ve got a nice little running route of 3 miles, and the thought of doing an extra 23 on top of that makes my knees shake! I’m not ruling out a marathon for the future; never say never, but it would certainly take a lot of mental and physical preparation to get me marathon-ready. To say I have admiration for our runners is an understatement, particularly after such an icy winter. I struggled to drag myself out of bed on the freezing weekends, but our runners skated their way around their usual routes, with people in the worst-hit areas having to go to their local gyms and jump on a treadmill.

With the ice plaguing our roads and paths I expected there to be a few injuries. As I feared, two of our runners unfortunately had to drop out, but did so in time for us to find two fantastic replacements. Our newcomers to the team have taken on the challenge of training for the marathon in just three months and pledging to hit our minimum sponsorship target of £1,500 with enthusiasm and determination.

We’ve got a real mix of runners this year with some already running 22 mile routes, and some still working their way up steadily with our training guide. Some have supported MRF for years, whilst others appreciate the opportunity to offer their support now. All have been touched by meningitis and realise the importance of knowing and raising awareness of the symptoms, as well as raising sponsorship to support the Foundation’s work.

We’ve been really fortunate this year with some of our applicants getting an independent place in the public ballot, expanding our running team. We’d love to hear how your training is going, so post your progress below! 


Posted on 22 April 2010

Comment by Laura Coakley

Best of luck to everybody for the big day! You've all done fantastically well with your training and fundraising. I can't wait to meet you and thank you after the race - remember to come and find us in the 'M' section in Horseguards Parade.

Good luck, good luck, good luck!

Posted on 22 April 2010

Comment by Chris Loxston

Hi All,

Just to say a very good luck to everybody and I hope everyone gets as much enjoyment crossing the finish line as I am looking forward to!

See you at the end!


Posted on 18 April 2010

Comment by Maria McCarter

Hello fellow runners,
Good luck to you all on Sunday. I will be flying over from Belfast, volcanic ash permitting. Can't wait to get to the start line now and get going. I'm getting restless on this tapering week. Training has been tough at times with so much snow and some minor injuies but it has all been worth it and I'm ready to go.
Best wishes,

Posted on 29 March 2010

Comment by Nigel Ballard

Now less than 4 weeks to go!! Eeeek!!

Hope you are all getting on ok, and heading for the welcome prospect of the training tappering off before the big day - I know I am!! Put in 15 miles yesterday, with an 18-20 planned for Easter Sunday - at least I will deserve my Easter Egg after that!!

Fund raising is continuing well - I have been invited to my daughters school (who are helping me out with 3 events!) to speak at the mornings assembly. Laura sent me tons of leaflets and sponsor forms, so not only am I raising money toward my total, the leaflets will help raise awareness of Meningitis, and also the MRF too!

Happy running folks!!

Posted on 27 March 2010

Comment by David MacKenzie

Hello all
I ran from my house in central Edinburgh today, over to Fife and back - that involved going over the Forth Road Bridge, and I wonder if anyone had a more scenic route?
Good luck all, hope to meet you all on the day - please be patient and wait for me!


Posted on 27 March 2010

Comment by Rachel Ann Humphriss

Hello! It's good to hear that the day is easier than the training as at the moment I have a swollen greenish purple ankle, and I really need a bit of good news!! Any ideas on a quick fix? I tripped on a tree root. Hope everyone else is injury free!
All the best

Posted on 26 March 2010

Comment by Chris Dunn

Hi everyone

Hope you are all ready and prepared for the marathon this will be my 10th London Marathon. I have ran for meningitis research ever since my Dad Brian died from meningitis 11 years ago aged 48. I run it in his memory and to raise as much as I can for the charity. So good luck everyone and enjoy it because its an amazing experience.

All the best

Chris Dunn

Posted on 26 March 2010

Comment by Laura Coakley

I'm so pleased to hear how well all of our runners are doing. Most of you have fantastic fundraising achievements already, and with the day drawing nearer I expect your totals will only get better!

You'll also be pleased to know that we have even more support from people who have independent places in this year's marathon. So far 9 people have pledged their support, which is a great extension of our marathon team! This also means the mileage ran for MRF on the day will be over 650, really impressive!

I know Nigel's had a really good response to his publicity efforts, which helps us promote awareness of these diseases. If any of you decide you would like us to try and organise some publicity for you around the race please get in touch and we'll see what we can do! You can contact Neil in our Communications department on neilh@meningitis.org and he will be happy to help.

Thanks to everyone who's left a comment on here so far, to know that you're not alone in this challenge must be a help. I'll post more details on here soon about where to find us after the race - it'd be great if you could all come along and say hi.

Only one month to go now, keep running!

Posted on 25 March 2010

Comment by Alan Mitchell

Hi Everyone,

I hope the training is going well and with any luck, in a month from now we'd have all just finished!!!!

My training is going well. I've done the majority of it on the treadmills at the gym given the weather up north around Xmas. I didnt have any ski's so this was my only option!!!
I actually find it harder on the treadmill as its so boring but my thinking is that if I cant battle the 'boredom' on running on that for 3 hours plus, the marathon with the atmosphere etc should be a different challenge.

I ran for the MRF back in 2003 and I'm delighted to be doing so once again along with you all. Back then we all had everyones emails for tips and past experiences etc and I remember once gentlemen saying he's run a couple of marathons beforehand and that the actual race is 'easier' than the training. I remember reading his email and I wasnt convinced but he was right. The first marathon I ran, I ran up to 18 miles before hand and completed it but towards the end I remember thinking that this man was right. By the time you get to the start line you've done the hard work and the race was the most wonderful experience. I'm going to stop short of saying it was a pleasure mind you, but the atmosphere, crowds and support of fellow runners made me feel invincible.

Nige, you mentioned Eddie Izzard, that guys unbelievable isnt he. He certainly is inspirational. I ran 20 miles at the weekend and then we watched one of his shows in the evening and I felt rather insignificant!!!
His exploits dont help the fundraising either with plenty of my friends saying they'll sponsor me once I do 42 more!!!

Only a few more weeks of training to go now then its 'loading time!!!' - I'm told tubes of pringles dont count, but they worked last time!!!!

All the best everyone.


Posted on 22 March 2010

Comment by Nigel Ballard

Thought more of the Golden Runners would have posted here by now!

Ran a half marathon as part of my training, and it was suprisingly ok! A few aches today, but nothing too bad (felt worse after a 4.5 miler last week!). I have been watching Eddie Izzards exploits on BBC3 for inspiration, but have also been reading the Book of Experience here on the MRF site - some inpiring and heart breaking stories here, and inspiration enough for me to keep going through the pain to the finish - its the least I can do really . . . .

Posted on 01 March 2010

Comment by Liz Brooks

OK, so it took me a few hours to get feeling back in my legs yesterday...those 10 miles felt more like 20, and grateful to you and the gang Rach for your unwavering support in that weather. I was in a bit of a state today getting my heels on for work I can tell you. If anyone fancies a giggle (and my colleagues have) the photographic evidence is available -


Click on 'The BEAST' and search for number 169. I am proudly sporting my 'I conquered the Beast' rosette today which is easing the pain

Posted on 01 March 2010

Comment by Chris Loxston

Hi All,

Nice to hear that I am not the only one feeling the terrible pains that 20 miles runs put into your legs! I really am now just very much looking forward to standing on the start line and knowing that what is about to happen is going to be one of the best but most painful experiences of my life.

These 8 weeks will fly by and all the hard work running on snow and ice for the last 3 or so months will all be worth it!

I am running the Silverstone half in a week and hoping for a sub 1:27 time for a PB however with all this long running I have almost forgotten how it feels to run fast so could be interesting.

Keep the effort going everyone as it will be very very worth it when you cross that finish line!


Posted on 28 February 2010

Comment by Rachel Humphriss

Hi guys
Well, it feels good to be in syber touch with fellow Marathoners. I am plodding on with training and have got really bored on long runs. Mp3 player no longer inspires so I got a little radio - thought it might make things a bit more interesting! Still not suitable for some runs. I dont think it would have coped very well with the run Liz did this weekend - I was there- hats off to you mate. What a star. Wet, muddy, cold, but determined to the very end!!
Keep going everyone - happy running -wherever it may be.

Posted on 26 February 2010

Comment by Liz Brooks

Hello everyone,

Well, this training is certainly pushing my boundaries! I am not usually one for cold or rain, but this Sunday finds me running a double or quits race of 5 or 10 miles. The course includes steep hills, water, mud, 32 obstacles usually tackled by animals of a 4 legged variety (horses, eek), hills, a couple of surprises (which I think include British Military fitness bods throwing things at me), oh and more water. It seemed like a good way to break up the long weekend runs and prepare for the Kilomathon from Nottingham to Derby in a fortnight. I am sure Dom is somewhere out there laughing at me........and hopefully a little impressed by his little sisters new found drive. Good luck to everyone.


Posted on 26 February 2010

Comment by Nigel Ballard


I am one of your lucky 16, and won't forget that call from Laura back in October - delight, and then sheer terror in the space of 5 mins!! Nice!!

Looking forward to meeting the other 15 Golden Bond-ers at the end of the race! Hope fund raising is going well for you all - this maybe a good place to share ideas? 8 weeks and counting!!


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