It's a triumph for 'Team Ziff'


Maccabi GB chair Michael Ziff does not do things by half.

Preparing for his marathon run, which raised £50,000, predominantly for Cancer Research UK, the 61-year-old businessman worked with a specialist group of helpers.

"Team Ziff" included masseurs, trainers, a physio and a yoga teacher, as well as his wife, Debbie. This professional back-up enabled him to run the course in 5:34, six minutes faster than his first marathon in 2012.

"I've had to do a lot of training," he said. "I probably ran the best part of 600 miles since Christmas. I've lost a stone in weight."

He was also spurred on by the marathon crowds. "I heard a couple of them saying: 'Come on Michael' and I started running, then stopped and started walking. So they shouted: 'Get on with it Michael, we didn't shout at you so you can stop.'

"Cancer Research people shouted at me so much that I ran one of the fastest kilometres I did. They encourage you so much."

Explaining his motivation, Mr Ziff, who has homes in Leeds and London, said: "My wife has cancer, my friend has cancer and my nephew has had leukaemia.

"It seems to touch us every day, all the time. It feels fantastic to raise money for Cancer Research."

Around £12,000 of his sponsorship went to Maccabi UK, which was also represented by Perry Yam, whose post-race warm-down was a substitute appearance for the Maccabi Masters over-45s football team he manages.

The 47-year-old partner in a legal firm ran the marathon in 4:02 before his footballing cameo.

"My colleagues think I'm nuts," he said. "But one of the squad promised me £200 if I'd play after the race, so I did. I had a rub-down from the team physio and went on. It was actually fine playing."

Including the extra donation, Mr Yam raised £6,000 for Maccabi's Challenge Tour programme, providing an Israel experience for youngsters with disabilities.

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