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Running stories with a charitable ending

    Kisharon's Sophie Englander
    Kisharon's Sophie Englander

    Photographer Blake Ezra was for once in front of the cameras as part of the Jewish Care contingent in Sunday’s Royal Parks Half-Marathon, which took participants through Hyde Park, Green Park, St James’s Park and Kensington Gardens.

    Running with friends Adam Reed and Stacey Jaffe and completing the course in one hour 41 minutes, he was motivated by the story of his grandmother Vivienne, “the vivacious, headstrong rock of our family.

    “Witnessing her decline over the past three years since she has had Alzheimer’s has been one of the most challenging experiences of my life.

    “I’ve been privileged to see the work Jewish Care undertakes every day in its homes, community centres and dementia day centres, caring for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia and supporting their families. We are pleased to have raised vital funds.”

    Another Jewish Care runner with a strong personal connection to the charity was Rachel Wolman, a teacher at Hertsmere Jewish Primary.

    Her grandmother Anne Lewis, 87, has dementia and has been a resident at the Clore Manor home in Hendon for two years.

    Ms Wolman, 28, who took part with friend Lisa Fox, said that “when I visit my grandma, I see how incredible the staff are at ensuring all the residents are kept safe, healthy and entertained”.

    Father and son Lionel and Ben Davies and friend Josh Nielfield also ran on behalf of Jewish Care, which has to date raised more than £5,500 from its participants.

    Newlyweds Oliver and Tori Tenzer were among the 18 Norwood entrants, who have generated around £11,000 in sponsorship.

    The Tenzers — who crossed the finish line arm in arm — said they had been involved in Norwood for many years and, in the silver anniversary of Norwood challenges, “wanted to complete our own challenge for them”.

    Norwood’s entry also included a company team from Mile Estates comprising Alex Levy, Igal Levy, Charlie Ruff, Marius Ruff, Kyle Goodman, Kelly Goodman and Kay Meshkin-Pour.

    Camp Simcha’s five runners raised nearly £8,000 for the charity, which supports children with serious illness and their families.

    The £1,800 brought in by Lee Bladon and Danny Myers will go towards a new nocturnal respite service in memory of Mr Bladon’s daughter Evie.

    “This is the third year I have run the Royal Parks but it was particularly poignant this time,” Mr Bladon said.

    Gideon Glass, a former Camp Simcha big brother, and Janine and Colin Glasenberg raised £6,000 for general Camp Simcha services.

    More than £10,000 was earned for learning disability charity Kisharon, whose team of nine were joined by chief executive Dr Beverley Jacobson and husband Alan. 
    Sophie Englander ran for Kisharon with dad David and boyfriend Elliot Espinoza, the fastest of its finishers in one hour 39 minutes.

    “My dad has always been a runner, which inspired me to enter the London Marathon this year,” she said. “After the marathon, I didn’t want to let my running go so I decided to sign up for the Royal Parks.

    “Once we heard about Kisharon and learnt about the work they do, we decided it was the one for us.”

    Miranda Shemen, Gary Behar, Dean Ricklow, Danielle Donne, Michael Yattah and Gemma Posner were Kisharon’s other runners.

    Dr Jacobson said it had been “uplifting to meet the wonderful individuals who chose to push themselves physically to raise money to support Kisahron’s vital community services”.

    World Jewish Relief’s team of runners raised more than £11,500 for the charity's work supporting older Jews in Eastern Europe.

    For WJR runner Adam Leigh, the half marathon was "the greatest two hours in my 52 years on planet earth. It's an incredible run for such an important cause and such a terrific experience."

    Jessica Bohm, Tamir Grant, Max Heller, Robin Hilton and David Shaw also ran for WJR.

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