London Marathon: Running totals delight charity chiefs as much needed income is generated

Tens of thousands raised for communal and Israeli causes


As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. And the efforts of the dozens of Jewish charity supporters of varying age and fitness levels who ran, jogged or limped through the 26 miles-plus London Marathon course on Sunday did not go unappreciated.

“With statutory funding so tight, every bit of voluntary funding is more precious now than ever,” Norwood chief executive Dr Beverley Jacobson told the JC.

“Spurred on by our commitment to achieve real inclusion for those with learning disabilities, our London Marathon runners raised £40,000 which will be used to enable people we support to participate in Norwood’s challenge events and create training opportunities which will hopefully lead to employment.”

Among the Norwood 15 was Dominic Coleman, supporting the charity which has been “an integral part of my family’s life for more than 25 years”.

The 23-year-old trainee solicitor from North-West London has a cousin, Max, 27, with cerebral palsy.

“Max became profoundly disabled following an illness in infancy and Norwood has been there for him at every stage of his life, from support with equipment and counselling through to access to the Jewish community for him as a disabled adult,” Mr Coleman explained. 

Max had “exceeded all medical assessments and continues to live life to the full. He loves a drink, seeing family and friends, going to concerts, the cinema and football matches. In fact, I think he has more of a social life than I do.”

Mr Coleman’s goal was to finish in 3:30. Despite sharp ankle pains from the early stages, he came home in around four hours.

The quickest of the Norwood bunch was Richard Rule, 53, who recorded a personal best of 3:23. “The crowd were just brilliant this year,” he said. “They, and the fact that I was doing it for such a fantastic charity, really kept me going.

“I ran for Norwood simply because I believe that everybody, regardless of their circumstances, should be given a chance — and that is precisely what Norwood stands for.”

Other Norwood participants were Simon Rosenblatt, Andrew Brickman, Shavonne Wyche-Davis, Latasha Lessington, Tamara Jacobs, Joe Wagman, Brian Ackroyd, Rachel Caplin, Shantall Tegho, Remy Lyse, Yair Oshman and Andy Da Costa.

The team also included 76-year-old great-grandmother and veteran of 37 marathons, Flora Frank (6:50), who was additionally fundraising for Emunah.

The Israeli welfare charity expects to generate £15,000 from its entrants, among them Dr Gillian Gertner, who said: “It has been seven years since I last did the marathon.

Having recently turned 60, I  wanted to prove to myself that I could still do it. I intended to just get around but I managed to achieve my personal best [4:44]. The weather was kind and the crowds were unbelievable — they really kept me going.”

Brothers Marc and George Jackson were cheered on by Marc’s wife Wendy, who runs Emunah’s eBay site. George achieved his goals of “raising money for a great charity — and beating my brother”.  He finished in 3:19, his sibling in 3:56.

Leeds-based Claire Gothelf (5:25) participated in memory of Hazel Jackson, a former Emunah group treasurer, who died in Israel shortly after making aliyah. She found watching Formula One via Sky Go a useful distraction during the closing stages.

Other Emunah runners were Martin Bleaken (3:32), Edward Bunce (4:27), Ben Cox (5:34) and Matt Rickard (5:19).

Team Chai raised more than £28,000 for the charity, which supports those with cancer. 

Rachel Mindell (4:51) said Chai had helped two of her grandparents, “for which I am very grateful. Running the marathon was an incredible experience. Seeing friends and family in the crowds and hearing complete strangers shouting my name motivated me to push that little bit more. I wouldn’t swap the pain I am in now for anything!”

Andrew Moss (5:16) ran as “a gesture of gratitude” for Chai’s “constant support” after his wife Larissa was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nathan Djanogly (4:52), Donna Bengio (5:01), Ricki Stone (4:33) and Alex Rickman (5:21) also fundraised for Chai.

Linda Lazarus committed to her “first and last marathon” to help Kisharon, a charity close to her heart, having spent the majority of her teaching career working with children with special educational needs. She had considered the marathon “a challenge well beyond my capabilities” but made it home in 6:54.

For another Kisharon runner — Shlomo Rokach, the manager of Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green — the race was a mere trifle after the Pesach rush, as he recorded a time of 3:37.

Others who contributed to the £16,000-plus raised were Alison Morley (4:44), running her first marathon to mark her 40th birthday, Cherie Diamond (4:49), who travelled from South Africa to compete, Hatem Akriche (2:59) and Dr Yaakov Schmidt (5:46).

Staff members Cathy Buckingham and Andrew Leigh were among the Nightingale Hammerson team which brought in more than £12,500 for new equipment for the Clapham care home. Ms Buckingham ran a personal best of 4:30. David Oliver, who has a relative at Nightingale, finished in 3:56.

Lloyd Rakusen’s 22nd London Marathon raised more than £4,500 for three charities —Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, One Voice and the Yorkshire Cancer Centre Appeal. Shelly Masters raised £2,000 for Magen David Adom.

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