Marathon runners step up for charity

Communal, Israel and general charities have benefited by hundreds of thousands of pounds from the exertions of Jewish runners in Sunday's London Marathon.


Communal, Israel and general charities have benefited by hundreds of thousands of pounds from the exertions of Jewish runners in Sunday's London Marathon.

The Jewish Care and Norwood contingents included runners keeping things in the family. Medical student Sarah Zimmerman, 24, is the daughter of Jewish Care chairman Stephen Zimmerman. Her marathon effort brought in around £3,000 and she has also volunteered at the charity's Rela Goldhill Lodge, where her funds will be going.

"I was particularly moved by the 24-hour care given to adults with physical disabilities and sensory impairments," she said. "I decided to raise money to fund their therapists for one or two years as their work is invaluable to the residents' medical needs.

"As the majority of the residents have been living in full-time care for most of their lives, any social interaction they can get will improve their quality of life."

In total, Jewish Care will benefit by around £11,000 from its marathon squad, also numbering Eyal Taylor, David Repper, Robert Fosterman and Sam Aboudara. Acting fundraising director Daniel Carmel-Brown paid tribute to their "invaluable fundraising".

Norwood's 20 runners earned a combined £90,000, among them Cambridge university student Richard Desmond (4:06), the 21-year-old son of Express owner and Norwood president Richard Desmond. Norwood vice-chair Julia Chain completed the race in just under five hours, having prepared chicken soup for a Seder before setting off for the start.

The charity boasted some fast finishers, notably Andrea Fraquelli (3:05), Jonathan White (3.23) and Adam Arnold (3:44).

Another Norwood entrant was Bushey estate agent Stuart Lesser, whose mother was cared for by Norwood as a child. After a spell in hospital last year, he started an exercise and weight loss regime and has completed two half-marathons since. He hopes to raise £5,000 through the marathon and the Norwood Israel bike ride.

Recording a time of 4:47, Radlett student Danielle Rosenfeld, 19, earned £2,000 for Norwood as a tribute to her aunt, Carole Rosenfeld, who is a Norwood resident.

"I wanted to support Norwood for the help they've given her but also to make my dad and brother proud - they have both completed it before."

Eighteen-year-old Ryan Howard (4:43) was the charity's youngest ever runner and Norwood was also represented by Oliver Gershfield, Matt Martin, Hassan Jameel, Sam Kaye, Caroline Kuis, Sara Frankel-Pollen, David Battiscombe, Michael Shrank, Yehudis Goldsobel, Paul Berlyn and Paul Jacobs.

Great-grandmother and marathon veteran Flora Frank ran for both Norwood and Emunah, whose squad attracted more than £10,000 in sponsorship. Emunah's other entrants were Aron Schlagman, Josh Caplin, Tamir Grant, David Bakst and mother and son Gillian and Julian Gertner, who both defied injury to complete the race.

A Finchley husband and wife team with a combined age of 97 crossed the line together in 5:10, earning more than £5,000 for disabled children charity, Kids.

Estate agent Jonathan Barr, 51, said he and his wife Lauren, 46, had "trained for three months through all weathers and ran over 360 miles" in preparation. There had been "niggly injuries, lost toenails and many visits to our wonderful physiotherapist.

"I am so proud of Lauren as the training was particularly gruelling for her but she would never give up."

Financial journalist Joel Clark, 28, from Golders Green was the first marathon man from overseas development charity Tzedek, which he has been involved in since 2004. "I volunteered with them first in Ghana and then in Kenya," he said. "It's a fantastic charity and really unique in the Jewish community."

Finishing in four hours and raising £5,000, he said afterwards: "It was my third marathon but I still can't get over what a truly fantastic event it is."

He was "very proud to have raised so much for a Jewish charity that exemplifies tikkun olam and outreach to those in need, no matter what their race, religion or creed".

Richard Daniels, a 22-year-old medical student from Pinner, raised around £3,000 for the Alzheimer's Society, in memory of family members, and Save A Child's Heart, which brings children from the third world to Israel for life-saving heart operations. "I ran for the Alzheimer's Society in memory of my grandfather and great-grandmother who were both supporters of this cause, and because through my studies I've seen what a terrible condition dementia is, both for the affected and their families. Save A Child's Heart is one of my favourite charities. They have quite a low profile in the UK, so hopefully I've raised awareness for their work."

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