Meet the two friends of Kairos who are running the 2021 virtual London Marathon for us. (And we have one more place, so if you fancy a 26.2-mile run on 3 October, contact Head Office!)
The London Marathon this year will be ‘virtual’ – but only in that entrants will be running their own chosen 26.2 mile-routes and their progress will be monitored electronically, instead of joining in the thousands-strong pack of runners pounding through London’s streets.
George Soper from Epping and Laura McLellan from Croydon met each other for the first time this week at Kairos Head Office to talk about the marathon and why they are running for Kairos.
“I’ve run since I was 13 and as part of boxing training,” explains George. “Recently, I’ve been running 10-12 miles every day or every second day – it started as a bet for a bit of a laugh. I haven’t worked out my training schedule yet but I know my first big challenge is to get past that 18-mile mark.
“I’m running the marathon for Kairos Community Trust because recovery is a cause close to my heart. I have seen how the consequences of addiction and alcoholism are far-reaching, impacting on whole families for many years, on children’s education and welfare. It leaves a big mark.
“I want to raise understanding and empathy, as well as funds for Kairos’ recovery services. Lots of people don’t understand recovery takes a long time and is more complicated than ‘celebrity rehab’.”
For Laura, it was perfect timing. “I was not surprised but I was still disappointed when I found I hadn’t got a Marathon place – but less than two weeks later Judy phoned to offer me a place to run for Kairos. I decided to do it because a close friend has just completed a recovery programme which has made all the difference to him. Although I’ve worked as a fundraiser for 15 years, most that time I’ve been a ‘professional cheerer’ rather than a runner on the front line!
“I first started running when I turned 30. Before the lockdowns started, I decided to take my training up a level and I was running on a treadmill before work and doing longer runs at the weekend. Training for the virtual marathon means I’m aiming to run 12km three times a week, plus one 17-18 km run. My dream is to run 8-minute miles on the day.”
We’ll be reporting back regularly here on their training progress. In the meantime, click on the links here to sponsor George and/or Laura in their marathon for Kairos.