Virgin Money London Marathon

4 October 2020

Spotlight on our 2020 Runners

Katy Kemp

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=KatyKemp&pageUrl=3

Katy Kemp with her two daughters

The London marathon has been a big part of my family’s life over the years. My great uncle was a big fan of watching and collecting memorabilia from the start. I have watched my older sister cross the line twice, so I’m very excited to see the crowds / atmosphere and the sights of London on the day.

My step-sister Hannah and her partner Dean have two gorgeous boys Thomas and Harry. Last year, they discovered Thomas has Usher syndrome, an inherited condition which affects both sight and hearing. Thomas is such a bright, sociable and caring little boy, both Hannah and Dean are positive for his future but depend heavily on the medical research of Retina UK to ensure Thomas can lead a fulfilling life.

With two small girls aged four and one, training has been hard! My husband has been amazing supporting and ‘holding the fort’ each time I head out for a few hours running!

I completed a half marathon before Christmas and have the London Landmarks Half Marathon coming up in March. Then the last big 20 mile race, the Milton Keynes Festival of Running, before the big day!

James Clubb

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-clubb

James Clubb standing next to a tree overlooking a turquoise colour lake

I have chosen to run the London Marathon to challenge myself both physically and mentally and to support a close work colleague in their efforts to raise vital funds to support research and treatment for those living with inherited sight loss. I have seen first-hand through a work colleague just how Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) can affect people’s daily lives.

Training is going very well! I have already been able to slim down dramatically and I am approaching a comfortable race weight through more cardiovascular orientated training. I am building up the mileage steadily and running twice a week with long distance runs either through London parks or along the English coast.

Amelia Backhouse

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amelia-backhouse1

Amelia Backhouse

I’m Amelia and will be taking part in my second marathon. Having previously run the Paris Marathon in aid of Retina UK, I was inspired to run the London Marathon having seen the fantastic atmosphere when my uncle, brother and cousins crossed the finish line in previous years for the Retina UK teams! Many of my family suffer from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and finding a cure would mean so much. Training is going well so far and I am building up the distance with some beautiful runs along the River Thames in London!

Hugo Thornhill

www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hugo-thornhill

Hugo Thornhill

My name is Hugo Thornhill and I’m part of the Retina UK Virgin Money 2020 London Marathon team. This is my first marathon and I’m running to support one of my colleagues, Roger, who suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder of the eyes that causes loss of vision. There is currently no cure for this eye disorder. I want to help raise funds for this fantastic charity so that their amazing work can continue to help him and others. The training is well under way now, I’m excited for race day and can’t wait to experience the incredible atmosphere of the London marathon – please come and support us!

Shannon Plair

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=shannon-plair-SAVMLMBONDS333-2020-177158&pageUrl=1

Shannon Plair

Hello my name is Shannon Plair and I am based in Wickford Essex, where I work as a personal trainer. I am running the London marathon because it’s always been an aspiration of mine to complete such a big physical challenge.

I have chosen to run for Retina UK because my older brother who is currently 28 years old has suffered with Retinitis pigmentosa since he was a little boy and it’s inspired me to help raise awareness for all people suffering with inherited sight loss. I hope we can raise enough to hopefully find a cure one day.

My training is going well had a few issues with blisters when the millage is high but nothing’s going to stop me pushing to raise money for such an amazing charity. Good luck to all the runners out there.

Julie Stafford

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JulieStafford3

Julie Stafford

I have decided to raise money for a charity which is very close to my heart – Retina UK. This charity funds medical research into inherited sight loss in addition to providing information and support to those affected.

We are amongst a relatively small number of families in the UK affected by X-Linked Retinitis Pigmentosa. Our son Wynston was diagnosed with RP when he was 10 years old. Despite this he continues to lead a full life, making the best of any opportunities. He has achieved some wonderful sporting achievements and, lucky for me he is a qualified Sports Therapist. Over the last few years there have been some breakthroughs with the research especially in trying to halt the progression of the sight loss deterioration and so prolong the onset of total blindness.

I hope that you can help me to support my chosen charity so that I can try to bring some hope to people with inherited sight loss.

Eve Craske

https://justgiving.com/fundraising/Eve-Craske2

Eve Craske

Why am I running for retina UK? Because my world fell apart two years ago when my son (aged 11) was diagnosed with RP. I had never heard of RP and despite being genetic no one in our family has the condition. Within 12 weeks of diagnoses Callum was confirmed legally blind. Devastating for everyone who knows him & of course just so much for an 11 year old to handle.

Retina UK provided support for my whole family and a glimmer of hope that fundraising for research may mean that one day we will find a cure! Here’s to hoping that cure can be brought closer with funds raised by VLM team 2020! Good luck & much love to everyone taking part xxxx

Lucy Wyatt

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-wyattlondonmarathon2020

Lucy Wyatt

I am excited to be running for Retina UK. Personally I would love to say I have completed the London Marathon – it is an incredible physical and mental challenge.

I have decided to run for Retina UK because I have seen the detrimental impact that sight loss has had on my mum’s confidence and general livelihood, and want to help people in similar situations. Also, my step-sister works as a fundraiser for the charity, so I get to hear about all the amazing people taking on challenges and I thought I could be one of them!

This will be my first marathon. I was set to run the London Marathon in 2019 and was on track to get my initial goal finishing time (sub 4 hours) as I was running strong in my training. I then fractured my back in a serious horse riding accident in February 2019 and it all went out the window from then on!

Having to start my training all over again with a serious injury was mentally destroying to say the least. But with a lot of advice, trying many different insoles/trainers, marathon plans, endless amounts of KT tape, back/knee braces and physio sessions, training is finally back on track and I am feeling ready to SMASH this marathon!