On Sunday 3rd October five wonderful supporters of Reach will be running in one of the most inspiring and colourful fixtures in the world’s sporting calendar, The London Marathon!
The London Marathon was founded by athletes Chris Brasher and John Disley in 1981 and is a 26.2 mile (42.2 km) footrace through the streets of London typically held in April. Hugh Brasher (son of Chris) is the Event Director and Nick Bitel its Chief Executive. The 40th London Marathon was postponed due to Covid, this year will be the first autumn London Marathon ever held.
Reach has five runners taking part. From the complexity of challenges faced in 2020, two of our original 2020 line up will be finally facing their dream after over two years of training, Donna Baldwin and Daniele Spinosa! Ross Hempstead, Dominic Rayner and Teresa Harper complete our fundraising super runners for this October!
Read below to hear our runners stories and their connection to Reach.
‘On the 1st February 1978, I was born with the lower part of my right arm missing. Those of you that know me know that I have lived a happy, healthy and successful life and have fought to show those around me that life with a disability does not have to be limiting.
I am running for Reach, a charity very close to my heart for obvious reasons. Reach supports families of children with an upper limb difference and celebrates the potential in those children by focusing on their ability rather than their disability.
I had a place to run for Reach in the 40th London Marathon in 2020, however due to the pandemic this was unfortunately cancelled and replaced with the first virtual marathon. It was hard going running through the wind and rain, without the crowds to cheer you on but it was all made worthwhile by the generous donations from my fabulous family and friends where together we raised an amazing £2190.55
In 2021, I am running again (crazy I know) and I aim to raise as much money as possible for this amazing charity and also hopefully inspire those children with limb differences that they can doing anything in life they set their minds to.
Thank you all in advance for supporting me on this crazy journey xx’
To donate and support Donna Click here!
‘I am delighted and thrilled to be able to participate in the first post-lockdown London marathon, to raise money for REACH!
I was inspired to run for REACH by Ruth Lester who has given 30 years service as a consultant plastic surgeon, to children and their families. She now dedicates her time and skills acquired to offer continuing support for children and families in a different way. She has served for the last 5 years as a trustee of the charity having retired from active surgical practice. As well as being an inspiration to others, Ruth is firstly close family to myself, and beyond that a dear friend.
I hope to inspire others who may need to recover their physical and mental health after this trying year!
Being fit has always been my favoured antidote for a healthy body and mind. When I turned 40, it became clear that things could go 2 distinct ways. Instead of hanging up my sports shoes I chose to push myself and test my physical limits by participating in long distance running and mixed martial arts. Since then I have run 3 official marathons, including the London marathon in 2013 and 2014, and Antwerp 2019 as well as several ultra marathons in various locations in the UK and around the world. I soon realised that fitness is not just for young people; in fact your endurance can increase and you can become greater with age.
It’s sounds like cliché to re-iterate that it’s all in the mind – but it is! In stretching myself to achieve painful goals I understood how those who are born without something, still find it within them to push themselves to excel, without being defeated at the first hurdle by what some consider to be deficiencies.’
To donate and support Dominic Click here!
‘I ran the London Marathon in 2019 for Reach. It is a charity close to my heart as it has supported my family since my nephew, Jacob, was diagnosed with a limb abnormality during prenatal scanning.
Reach provide support to families and children with upper limb differences from diagnosis and throughout their lives. The support is invaluable and helps these children to adapt to living in our two-handed world – which can be a struggle.
My nephew is courageous and always determined and I hope to use his strength to help me run the marathon and raise money to support other families who may face these challenges. I would be grateful for any support you can give me.’
To donate and support Teresa Click here!
“Ten fingers and ten toes”.
How many times have we heard proud parents say this when announcing the birth of their new baby?
On January 1st 2018 my life changed forever when my beautiful daughter, Leah, was born – and she was missing her left hand and forearm. Since then, I’ve taken every opportunity to fundraise for Reach and support them in the fantastic work they do.
After finishing my first marathon in Belfast in 2019 I was hooked and immediately knew I wanted to do another. The personal achievement beaten only by the thought of the example I was setting for Leah – set you mind to it and you can (and will!) do anything!
So, when Reach offered me the chance to run London this year I jumped at the chance.
After an incredibly trying year for us all as we navigated the COVID world, the thought of getting out and raising money is hugely exciting! It’s also been an extremely difficult time for charities as they have lost so many fundraising opportunities so it’s an honour to raise money for Reach.
Reach is a charity that supports children with upper limb differences live life without limits. We have been fortunate to benefit from the support and care of Reach and, through fundraising, want to ensure that other children and families benefit from the same. I want to thank you in advance for supporting me in this run. By doing so you’re not only supporting Leah and our family but the many other children with upper limb differences and their families too.’
To donate and support Ross Click here!
‘Thank you to all of you who have donated throughout the months for such a good cause! Reach is helping many parents and their children who were born without limbs to have a brighter future, supporting and improving these children’s lives to live life without limits!
I was due to run in April 2020, it has been a tough year for everyone. I have continued my training with the hope to fulfil my dream of running this amazing marathon and running for Oliver!
Thank you so much to Natasa for having pushed me to start such a great journey, I was very scared to do this in the beginning! Natasa is a very old friend of mine, she is the wonderful mother to triplets, Finn, John and Oliver. Oliver is my inspiration to run the London Marathon, he is a happy and very active 10 year old who was born without his left hand, I want to show him if you push yourself, take yourself outside your comfort zone you can achieve anything!’
Hugh Brasher, Event Director of London Marathon Events, said:
“It is wonderful to confirm that our great mass participation events are returning across the country. Extensive scientific research worldwide has shown that the risk of transmission of Covid-19 outdoors is negligible. The UK’s event organisers have worked together to ensure the safe return of mass participation sports events outdoors by participating in the government’s Events Research Programme and collaborating on a range of protocols that ensure our events will be safe and Covid-secure.”