Ziffs chase down a six-figure target as charities cash in

April 26, 2012
Costume drama: Bananaman (aka Nick Lavan) playing to the crowds along the London Marathon route

Costume drama: Bananaman (aka Nick Lavan) playing to the crowds along the London Marathon route

Jewish London Marathon participants ran up a charitable total of several hundred thousand pounds. And one family of runners hopes to generate £100,000 from sponsorship.

Competing under the team name of "Ziff beats cancer", Michael Ziff, 58, his three sons and two nephews ran for the Teenage Cancer Trust, Leeds Jewish Welfare Board and the Nightingale home in south London.

The TCT is a cause particularly close to the family's heart, as Michael Ziff's 14-year-old nephew Jacob was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last year. Mr Ziff's mother-in-law is a Nightingale resident.

It was a first London Marathon for Jacob's brothers, Ben, 25, and Oliver, 23. Oliver finished in a highly impressive two hours 47 minutes, Ben in just over four hours.

"It was worth every step," said Ben Ziff. "I hit the wall at Tower Bridge. I had to walk around for five minutes, then I got running again."

‘The best thing was the WJR cheering stations’

Michael Ziff, chief executive of the Barratts footwear firm, recorded a time of 5:38. His sons Sam, 24, Henry, 22, and Alex, 21, came home respectively in 4:42, 4:40 and 4:59. Michael Ziff said the family had trained together four days a week and their mutual support had helped him to overcome a foot injury.

On Tuesday, Ben Ziff reported that £73,000 had been realised towards the six-figure target. Mark Sadlik (4:50) also raised £2,200 for Nightingale.

Norwood expects an £80,000 windfall from its marathon men and women, among them Wokingham 30-year-old Ben Williams (4:33), who wants to help change the life of Bryony Smith, a resident of the charity's Ravenswood village. Due to profound learning difficulties, she finds communication extremely difficult.

His marathon sponsorship will go towards a high tech device which will enable Ms Smith to communicate and socialise through revolutionary "eye gaze" technology.

Young Norwood Patronage campaign chair Yonni Abramson, 27, raised £14,000-plus. He finished in 4:33, having run 35 miles a week in preparation. Great-grandmother Flora Frank, 69, completed her 25th marathon for Norwood in 6:15, also running in aid of Emunah.

Other Norwood entrants were Nikola Plecas (4:08), Joel Barnett (4:55), David Mintz (6:30), Paul Jacobs (6:17), Andrea Fraquelli (2:53), Ryan Howard (5:18), Paul Harris (4:19), Alex Golombeck (4:24), Paul Robbens (4:14), Simon Passer (5:34), Adam Malach (4:36), Jane Jaffe (4:16) and Ben Konopinski (5:50).

Congratulating the runners, Norwood head of challenges Ian Tate said their "physical and fundraising achievements help us to change the lives of thousands each year".

By happy coincidence, World Jewish Relief head of community partnerships Emma Segal, 31, had already signed up to run the marathon before joining WJR. After finishing in four hours 42 minutes and contributing more than £3,000 to WJR's £30,000 total, she reflected that "the best thing was seeing everyone at the WJR cheering stations along the route".

Also competing for WJR were Darren Braham (4:12), Nathan Ezair (4:27), Gilly Freedman (4:50), Adam Jacobs (4:04), Daniel Linton (4:02), Sammy Ross (4:09), Sam Roth (3:42) and Robert Zive (3:45).

Recording a personal best of 3:41, Errol Rudnick had strong incentive to perform well for Chai Cancer Care, for which he raised £8,000. "My wife lost her sister Ruth to pancreatic cancer last summer in New York. Specialist and compassionate care for Ruth and her family was vital. Chai Cancer Care do just that in London and I wanted to gather as much support as possible. Breaking my leg in 2010 motivated me to run another marathon to prove I was 'back in order'. So I sent out the pleas for donations, trained for months and had the race of my life."

Former JC IT manager Michael Garcia completed his first marathon in three hours 19 minutes, bringing in £4,500 for Camp Simcha, helping children with life-threatening illness and their families. He became aware of the charity's work when his eldest son Sammy was seriously ill in Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2010. Sammy made a full recovery, but Mr Garcia wanted to help Camp Simcha support other children.

Camp Simcha raised a total £50,000 from the race, where its runners also included father-and-son Jeremy and Yossi Shebson, who finished together on 4:40. Jeremy Shebson said that having run four marathons as a young man, "I thought that I'd long hung up my running shoes. What got me through was the idea of raising funds for Camp Simcha and running with Yossi, who always looks after his dad and is very involved as a volunteer for young kids in Camp Simcha."

Other Camp Simcha entrants were Mark Landau (6:13), Abby Caplin (5:29), Chaya Dominitz (4:16), Marc Sosnow (4:00) and Jonny Phillips (3:46).

Fifty-nine-year-old Jewish Care Scotland chief executive Suzanne Neville accepted the challenge of her son Marc to take part. "I was watching my daughter-in-law run last year when my son said: 'You could do this mum! I do a bit of running - 5k or 10k max."

Finishing in 7:02, she is close to her £5,000 target for JCS. The cash "will really help. This year we have increased our social work resource in response to increased need from people with financial and related mental health issues."

Last updated: 6:06pm, April 26 2012