Bermuda resident Claire will join tens of thousands of runners pounding the streets of the capital this weekend for the 2018 London Marathon. Joined by her brother James, she’ll be covering the 26.2 miles in support of The Donkey Sanctuary.

Despite being a regular competitor at events in the past, Claire vowed never to run another marathon after witnessing tragedy in 2013. But after a call from her brother in the UK, she’s bravely stepping up to the challenge.

A surreal moment

Seasoned runner Claire could not have imagined taking part in another marathon after being caught up in the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013. Her expected time would have seen her cross the finishing line at the same time as the bombs were detonated, but she had managed to run eleven minutes quicker meaning she was going through the processing channel as the terrorists struck.

Claire recalls: “It was a surreal moment; I was being processed through the processing chute when the explosions happened. It was a terrible tragedy and it upset me no end and I vowed never to run another marathon.”

Desire to run

The decision to run again came after a call from her brother James. He was going through a tough time following a back injury and was dosed up on pain killers recovering at home in the UK. From his couch, James was watching the 2016 London Marathon and was inspired by all the runners and also by the Royal Family who were supporting mental health issues. This was a pivotal moment and the motivation James needed to set his goal on the 2018 London Marathon.

Claire continued: “James’ desire to run to aid his recovery and to mark his 50th birthday helped make my decision to support him, this is a massive undertaking for him and knowing I can help him achieve this was what I needed to make my decision.”

Doing it for donkeys

The choice to raise funds for The Donkey Sanctuary was a straightforward one for the pair as when they were children, their mother Beryl rescued the families’ first donkey Brandy from a meat market. After feeling sorry for her in a bedraggled state with her sad eyes, the donkey was squeezed into the back of their Land Rover and taken home.

It was soon discovered Brandy was pregnant and she gave birth to a foal which they named George. The two lived a happy life for many years before becoming ill after eating poisonous plants.

The Donkey Sanctuary were called in to help but after trying everything they could, Brandy and George sadly passed away. Claire adds that the charity: ‘Went above and beyond the call of duty in their efforts and they couldn’t have done anymore to help.”

Truly inspirational

Claire and James will be part of a team of six runners taking part in the event to raise money for The Donkey Sanctuary and while the others are based across the UK and Europe, at three and a half thousand miles away Claire will be travelling the furthest to take part.

Louise Jones, community fundraising manager at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “Claire’s story is truly inspirational and we are so grateful to her and James for supporting The Donkey Sanctuary. Without the support of dedicated fundraisers like this we would not be able to continue our vital work to help donkeys around the world to live a life free of suffering.”

To support their Claire’s fundraising efforts please visit her JustGiving page.