Alicia Jumman, Shaw Trust's Supporter Development Manager, talks about this year's London Marathon and why it was an incredible event to be part of.
The London Marathon is without doubt my favourite part of being a fundraiser. Our 31 runners, as of today (25 April) have collectively raised £43,510.98 not including Gift Aid. A massive well done to them all!
The lead up to the event is always one which I relish - getting to know the runners and hearing about how they are getting on is always brilliant. When working on the marathon, I am always left feeling inspired about the way our runners juggle life commitments with their training and fundraising efforts. This year has been an interesting journey to follow them on, with extreme climates created by the beast from the east and African storms, our runners have really battled through.
About a week before the big day it was announced that it was going to be a hot Sunday for the marathon. As we sat in the Shaw Trust office, we all hoped that the temperature would cool down. However, this was not the case. The Virgin Money Giving London Marathon 2018 was announced as the hottest one on record, with temperatures soaring to 24.1 degrees.
The buzz in London on Marathon Sunday is unparalleled. As I sat on the district line eagerly at 6:45am on my way to Embankment to reserve our cheer spot I could feel the excitement in the air. Runners sharing tips on their way to the start line, I could not stop grinning, I really do love Marathon day! We had two cheer points, one at Tower Bridge where Shaun had set up six flags so we could not be missed, and the other outside Embankment tube, one mile from the finish.
The crowds are part of what makes London Marathon such an amazing day. Our Shaw Trust team lived up to this expectation and came out to cheer, clap and encourage our runners. Many of the runners have commented how much this helped – thank you all for coming along!
Once our 31 runners had gone by the first cheer point (about half way along the course), our amazing cheer squad came over to the second point, just before Mile 25. There was a great sense of positive and team spirit in the air. We all worked together to cheer on the runners and make sure they kept going, they were so near the finish line! You could see some of the runners were really struggling, barely able to walk. However, the moment that they decided to try and run to finish the course, made us cheer even louder. Our team of runners did brilliantly, but they were harder than expected to spot wearing their fluorescent green – but I think we caught most!
We hosted a post-race reception to celebrate our runners at The Marquis. The event was a great success, and gave our team a chance to chat and meet one another as well as be congratulated at their brilliant achievement.
The marathon is such a heart-warming day. If I am honest, there were a few times where I was overwhelmed by the kindness and sense of community. It is truly an incredible experience, made by the determination of the runners and the support of the crowds. Well done to everyone!