Grand daughter of former chairman of London Marathon to take part in race

Grand daughter of former chairman of London Marathon to take part in race

19 April 2013

Hannah Clarke (29) from Liff in Scotland whose dad died of meningitis when she was 13 years old will be running her first marathon in April to raise money for national charity Meningitis Research Foundation.

Hannah signed up to take part in the world famous Virgin London Marathon, a race that her grandfather James Clarke was involved in as chairman from July 1995 until May 2009.

Hannah said: “My father James Clarke contracted meningitis in 1997 when he was 51 years old. He was fine on the Friday showing flu like symptoms on Saturday, in a coma on Sunday and his life support was turned off on Monday. The doctors were fantastic but by the time he was diagnosed it was too late. He was a wonderful dad and his sudden death left a huge void in our lives the last thing he would of wanted was to leave my mum to raise my brother, sister and I but this terrible disease was too much for him to fight..”

Hannah went on to say: “My Grandad also called James Clarke was a trustee of the London Marathon Charitable Trust and was instrumental in the set up of the London Marathon entry system; he sadly passed away in August 2012. At his funeral, the new Chairman of the race kindly offered my siblings and cousins places in the London Marathon as Grandad had always hoped we’d be able to run in the greatest single-day charity fundraising event in the world for which he was awarded an OBE. As our dad died of meningitis it seemed only fitting that I should raise money for Meningitis Research Foundation and help them beat this terrible disease.”

Hannah hopes to complete the race in 5 hours and 30 mins and you can sponsor her at:

Chris Head, Chief Executive of MRF, said: “We are extremely grateful to Hannah for raising money in memory of her dad who died of meningitis and taking on the challenge of the Virgin London marathon in memory of her  Grandad who was a pivotal figure in the organisation of the race. We rely on voluntary donations to fund our vital work into the prevention, detection and treatment of meningitis and septicaemia. Every penny raised through their efforts in the Marathon will make a huge difference and enable us to continue our work.”

Sam Williams
Media Relations Manager

Hi, I’m Sam and I’m MRF's PR Manager.

If you want to know more about this story call me on 0333 405 626251, out of office hours on 07875 498047 or email me