Running the London Marathon …

Every year, more than 30,000 people run the 26.2-mile (42.2km) marathon through the streets of London. Last year close to 40,000 runners were at the starting line. Almost 250,000 people entered the 2016 marathon ballot! This year, joining thousands of runners and spectators on the streets of London for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017, we are fortunate to have a select few athletes running the ultimate race in aid of Garwood Foundation and Rutherford School.

Two of these runners are Dave Condon, husband of one of our employees, and Natasha Richmond. Read here what they have to say about their inspiration for running for our School and their virgin money sponsor links.

Dave Condon: “I have been associated with Rutherford School since my wife Frances started there – nearly 5 years now. However, I have always worked with children with differing needs, and am currently a children’s mental health nurse at the Bethlem Royal Hospital.

I regularly see the great work done by Rutherford and am proud to raise money for them by running the 2017 London Marathon. I’ve run four marathons in my time, two of them in London so I’m aware of what’s required, however, I have not done one since having our daughter, Jessica. Needless to say, opportunities to train have been at a premium so this year I will be aiming to complete the marathon, rather than do a quick time!”

Natasha Richmond:

“I am a 41 year old stay at home mum and freelance writer. I am married with two children, Sam who is 10 and Molly who is 5. I started running in September 2014. This was after taking up kickboxing and karate in June of that year (after about ten years of no exercise whatsoever!), and wanting to increase my fitness levels to be able to keep up with the men in the class, as quite often I was the only female.

In July 2015 my husband was involved in a serious motorbike accident, which prompted me to increase my running distance so that I could complete a half marathon to raise money for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, which came to his rescue.

So I signed up for the Reading Half Marathon which took place in April 2016, and whilst training for that, the TVAA asked whether I would take the challenge of doing the London Marathon three weeks after, at the end of April 2016, because one of their runners had dropped out. Not wanting to turn down a challenge, I accepted and successfully completed both races, raising £4000 for TVAA.

Since then I have carried on with running longer distances and completed the Milton Keynes Half Marathon in September 2016, and the Oxford Half Marathon in October 2016. I am also now a purple belt in karate (soon to be blue belt, which will mean only three to go until black belt!).

I was desperate to take part in the London Marathon again and was delighted when the Garwood Foundation was able to offer me a place for 2017. I love running for lots of different reasons, and training for races such as the London Marathon gives it added purpose, especially when fundraising for good causes is involved. The training is going well and I am way ahead of where I was at in marathon training this time last year. I write a blog on Facebook all about my karate, running and eating well (called Trainers & Bananas) so I am boring my friends and family to tears with all my training updates. I hope to inspire a few people along the way too!

A friend of mine put me in touch with The Garwood Foundation, which is not a local charity to where I live, but one that I am delighted to be supporting and raising money for. I believe that all children should have equal opportunities no matter their physical/mental abilities or backgrounds. I am honoured to be a part of this, and I can’t wait to run the London Marathon 2017.”…

Andrew Barrett :

I visited Rutherford School in South Croydon today and was blown away with the care given to Children with disabilities. I was a little nervous and unsure how I would handle it but Sarah Hanmer and Karin Schnabel made me feel very welcome. Sarah took me on a tour and it opened my eyes to bespoke care they give.They are unique in the services and quality of care they provide. Some children have genetic conditions whereas other children were perfectly normal until struck down by disease or trauma, to change their lives and their parents’ lives forever. What struck me most was the dedication of staff to provide the best care possible. It’s not a job but a way of life. You don’t often see this sort of dedication in other occupation. The result is making lives better. Better for parents but more importantly the Children. With equipment, expensive equipment that stimulates all their senses. Many are visually impaired but the specialist equipment and rooms help to improve their cognitive abilities. All this extends the Children’s life expectancy and quality of life! What more can you ask for?!
I am so proud to be able to Run in the London Marathon for the Garwood Foundation and in particular Rutherford School for their Charity. I feel very humble to be able to run in this event when only one or two children can weight bare with assistance. We take so much for granted.
I was especially glad to See Georgia, Lisa Strudwick and Jeff Strudwick. I’ve known Lisa since I was about 6 so not that long ago 😉 Georgia was very tired after a recent serious illness and physio before her arrival but boy she is a fighter!

A great day with great people!

Here is the link to his donation page:…/showFundraiserPage.action…