Meet our 2016 #LondonMarathon team


This weekend, 8 amazing runners are taking on the London Marathon to raise valuable funds for Back Up and help people affected by spinal cord injury. 

Meet the #BackUpTeam...


Charlie Handy, 22, London

 


Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 


Yes, my first race of any kind was when I was representing my school at the Crystal Palace cross. I was only 9 and I hated it, why am I doing the marathon?!


What are your expectations from this day?

To be honest I just can’t wait to have a beer after. I have managed to deprive myself for a whole month now.

Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

A motorbike accident left my uncle Tim permanently paralysed. Back Up has become a big part of his and my family’s lives since then and I wanted to get involved to show my appreciation for all their support.


Any tips that you could share with us?

It is all a mental battle. You will be shocked by how much control you have over your body if you just refuse to stop running. Learn to relish the training side of things.



Charlotte Humpage, 24, Hertfordshire

 


Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 

It is my first time running the marathon but I have done other runs before, like the Royal Park half marathon.


What are your expectations from this day?

Expectations are high however I expect the day to be very exciting but also very emotional. Overall, I cannot wait for the day to come!


Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?


I am running for Back Up through my work. For just under a year now we have been supporting Back Up and I have really got to know some of the people there. I think it is a great charity so to be raising money for such a great cause is also very rewarding. 


Any tips that you could share with us?

My best tip I could give is to have a good playlist on your phone. Believing in yourself is key and it will help you in any kind of fitness! If you tell yourself you can do something you can do it. Not only are you training your body to physically do the run but I also think your state of mind when you are running comes into it. 


 

Tom Mallion, 27, from Norfolk, living in London

 



Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 


Yes, it will be my first marathon ever. I enter the ballot every year but have never won a place.

What are your expectations from this day?

I would like to get round in under 4 hours. Training has been going well so I hope to achieve this.

Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

When I didn't get a ballot place for the 2016 marathon, I got in touch with my friend David who just over 2 years ago was left paralysed from the waist down. I told him that I would only do it for a charity that has helped him in his recovery and he mentioned Back Up, so I applied straight away and was lucky enough to be chosen to run.


Any tips that you could share with us?

My tip for the long runs will be to get as far away from home as possible before turning back, this way there is no chance of ditching it and heading in early.



Tiffany Leaver, 28, from Devon, living in Guildford

 


Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 

Yes, this is the first time I have participated in a marathon.

What are your expectations from this day?

My expectation is to cross the finish line and enjoy the crowds, and music, along the way (all in under 5 hours, hopefully).

Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

I am running for Back Up as I had major spinal surgery when I was 16. I had no issues since my operation so want to run for people who are less fortunate. 

Any tips that you could share with us?

Getting the motivation to go out in the cold and wet is harder than actually doing it. Take rest days when you need. Eat pasta the night before a long run. 



Kirsty Stevens, 43, from Poole

 


Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 

So, this is my first and probably only time I will be doing the London Marathon.

What are your expectations from this day?

I have been training hard since January and should hopefully complete the course in under 6 hours. 5 1/2 would be great!


Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

I am really pleased to be running for Back Up and want to raise as much money as possible as it is a fantastic charity providing great opportunities to people affected by spinal cord injury. My best friend is Becky Hill, Chair of Trustees at Back Up, and over the last 26 years I have seen the difference that the courses and opportunities available can make.


Lucas Griffith Wilkin, 31, London

 


Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 

Yes, it is my first time but I have previously run the Brighton and Athens Marathons.

What are your expectations from this day?

To enjoy the day and take in the atmosphere. I want to push myself as hard as possible and hopefully get around the course in less than 4 hours.

Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

A friend of mine recently became paralysed after a spinal cord injury. I wanted to run for a charity that perhaps does not have the same national recognition as some of the big charities out there, but still has an incredible impact on people with spinal cord injury and their families. The support charities like the Back Up have given to him has been amazing. 

Any tips that you could share with us?

Vary your running routes, try and run with others, don’t get downhearted if you have a poor run, you are meant to be enjoying it so don’t push yourself, walk if necessary and listen to your body.

Clive Bowen, 54, London

 



Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 

It is the second time. The first time was in 2011 with the objective of doing one marathon before I was 50. 


What are your expectations from this day?


Pain and misery followed by copious amounts of Guinness, lots of crowd support and morale support for and from my running buddy. I can’t wait to see my wife and my three kids, the outlaws at mile 12 and the finishing line.

Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

My colleague Paul Newrick is Chairman of Back Up's City Dinner and through Paul I have met a number of people and found their stories and current approach to life to be inspirational. Whatever pain Lucas and I suffer from on that day, it pails into insignificance against their experiences.   


Any tips that you could share with us?

Mind over matter and consider a sports massage.



Lee Warsop, 38


Is it the first time you are running the London Marathon? 

Yes, I have done a few half marathons before but this is my first time doing the real thing.


What are your expectations from this day?

I am hoping to raise money for Back Up whilst not embarrassing myself attempting to complete the distance. I can get tired driving 26 miles never mind running it!

Why are you running the London Marathon for Back Up?

Back Up is Eversholt Rail’s chosen charity. We decided that we really wanted to support Back Up in whatever way we could and raise money to support the amazing work that you do. We have all been inspired since meeting you and understanding the difference that you make to people’s lives.

Any tips that you could share with us?


My big tip to someone doing the training for the first time would be to get a heart rate monitor and REALLY slow down your long runs so that you can build endurance more easily.



Want to run or push for us next year? Please get in touch with our Fundraising team