On Sunday 24 April, seven amazing supporters took on the world’s most iconic running race, The Virgin London Marathon, hoping to raise £10,000 for donkeys and mules in need worldwide.
The weather on the day provided almost perfect running conditions. It was cold with a quick burst of hail early on in the morning but by the time our runners set off, the clouds had cleared and there was a bit of sunshine coupled with a light breeze. It was a little chilly for spectators but perfect for our runners.
Andy Messenger, who was running his first ever marathon, had set himself the lofty goal of finishing in less than 3hrs 30mins but managed to finish in an incredible 3hrs 15 mins 52 secs.
On why he chose to run in aid of The Donkey Sanctuary Andy said: "As well as the work they do in the UK, the Sanctuary is also active in 30 countries around the world. What they try to do is work with communities to help educate them to improve the health and welfare of their donkeys. Since I started supporting The Donkey Sanctuary and started to learn more about what they do I have been proud to support them."
Naomi Kinsman, Centre Co-ordinator at the Sanctuary’s Centre in Ivybridge, which is home to 18 happy and well-cared for donkeys said: "The Donkey Sanctuary is such a special, inspiring place to work and since joining the charity in 2014 I have been inspired to take on a personal challenge to help raise vital funds for the work we do."
Naomi hit ‘The Wall’ at Mile 20 but refused to give up. She pushed on despite heavily strapped and painful ankles and finished in 6hrs 43 mins 2 seconds, raising over £2,000 in the process.
Ant Cotton, Andy Messenger, Gemma Thickett, Graham Watson, Naomi Kinsman, Rebecca Reynolds and Richard Gunn all completed the gruelling 26.2 miles to collectively raise over £10,000 for The Donkey Sanctuary. It’s a fantastic achievement and we are extremely grateful to each and every one of our runners for taking on such an epic challenge to help donkeys and mules in need.
Places are now available for the 2017 London Marathon. Contact the Community Fundraising team at: firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.