It’s rare for a rhinoceros, a Morris dancer and a Womble to be in the same place at the same time. Yet on Sunday 23 April, they and 40,000 others were to be found pounding the streets of London as the city transformed for the 2017 London Marathon.
The event was one of triumph for the 12 runners on the Jesuit Missions marathon team. Showing grit and dedication, they conquered the 26.2-mile course to raise funds for Jesuit Missions and Jesuit Refugee Service projects both in South Sudan and in the UK. There’s still a chance to show your support by donating here.
As the day progressed, beautiful stories of team JM camaraderie emerged. Joe Notter lost his electronic tracker so ran the whole course with school friend Ryan Stokes, the two coming in at an impressive 3 hours 39 minutes. “It was great to have Ryan alongside to keep my pace up. I don’t think I could have done it alone.”
Jonathan Roche and Fr Chris Krall SJ were pushing each other throughout the race, finishing up at 3 hours 22 minutes and 3 hours 31 minutes respectively. Jonathan secured the fastest time of the Jesuit Missions runners and beat a family record set by Jonathan’s father who ran for JM in 1997.
And Sam Aidoo was supported through an agonising Mile 18 by JM director Paul Chitnis, a well-timed bit of encouragement keeping Sam on track to smash her first marathon in 5 hours 11 minutes. “The crowds were the best part – I’ll never do it again though.”
All the runners put in a remarkable effort and Michael Frain, running in the cumbersome Womble costume to raise funds for JRS’ projects in the UK, is a particular highlight. Recovering from glandular fever to run the race, Michael drew delight from the crowd as he sped to an incredible finish time of 4 hours and 17 minutes.The Womble TV theme tune blaring as Michael charged up the home straight capped a fantastic day for all our runners. If their efforts have inspired you to get involved next year, you can sign up now on our website.
Posted on 24th April 2017