Meet some of the amazing runners taking on the London Marathon 2019 for The Salvation Army

published on 18 May 2019

Katie Baldwin

In just 10 days’ time 36 runners will be taking part in the London Marathon to raise funds for The Salvation Army. 

Here we highlight some of those runners who are taking part in the marathon to support our Victim Care Fund – providing additional support to victims of modern slavery who are in our care.  

Katie Baldwin, 57
Katie is taking part in her first marathon for The Salvation Army and in her own words “also my last.” A member of The Salvation Army for the last three years Katie has seen first-hand the transformational work being done across the UK and was inspired to take on the challenge in the hope she can “help change just one person’s life for the better”.
Katie said, “For me, running the London Marathon is one of those great opportunities to do something that will really help make a difference.  All of the hundreds of miles of preparation I have clocked up to help me on the day - if people are inspired to donate or to take this on themselves, then it will have been worth it.  For me it can be summed as a bit of pain for a lot of gain!”

Lewis Carter, 24
After Lewis’ best friend Joe was attacked on a night out in 2018 he was left in a coma for almost three months. The Salvation Army provided Joe’s family with accommodation close to the hospital where he was being treated – a four-hour round trip away from their family home in Kent. Lewis saw how valuable this support was to Joe’s family and wanted to show his appreciation by running the marathon. 
Lewis has said, “I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere on the day. I’m hoping a great playlist and lots of sugar will get me across the finish line.” 

Mike Greene, 61
Mike is no stranger to running. Having completed the Edinburgh Marathon in 2014, as well as many 10km races, he took on the 100km Ultra Tour of Arran, Scotland last year. 
Combatting modern slavery and human trafficking is a cause that’s particularly close to Mike’s heart since his son - who recently worked with an NGO in South Africa - returned and told him about the extent of the problem in that part of the world.
“Talking to my son has brought it home to me how prevalent modern slavery is.  It’s a global problem that’s going on right here in the UK.  Knowing I’ll be running to help vulnerable victims rebuild their lives will be a great motivator as I’m running the marathon.” 

Major Phil Layton, 45
Phil leads The Salvation Army church in Crystal Palace and is keen to use his marathon run as a way of raising awareness for the Church that makes up a big part of The Salvation Army’s mission.  Phil doesn’t think he’s much of a runner but admits his weekly jog is simply to be able to eat as many biscuits as he wants. 
When asked why he wanted to do the marathon he said, “I couldn't find a good enough reason to say "No"!  The reasons to say "Yes", however, were persuasive, as the money raised will go toward the UK-wide work of The Salvation Army to combat human trafficking/slavery.”
Virgin Money Giving: 

Pam Murdoch, 59
Pam is a Salvationist and member of The Salvation Army in Rayleigh. Having also worked at the UK headquarters Pam has seen how money raised helps the most vulnerable people in society and she truly believes in the work of The Salvation Army. 
Pam took up running with her husband in 2014 and has completed two half marathons to date. The next challenge was taking on a full marathon so Pam and her husband began applying for ballot places. Pam received a place in the London Marathon whilst her husband was accepted for the Brighton Marathon two weeks before London. The close timing has meant they can continue their training together and they have been taking to the flat seafront roads of Southend-on-Sea.
Virgin Money Giving: 

Jonathan Nancekivell-Smith, 45
Jonathan is not just running one marathon this year, he’s running three. After completing the London Marathon last year he’s caught the bug and is keen to raise more money for charity through his upcoming races. 
Jonathan currently heads the Prime Minister’s Implementation Unit within the Cabinet Office and previously supported the then Home Secretary on the preparations of the Modern Slavery Act. An active member of The Salvation Army New Addington Church Jonathon is combining his faith and work to raise important funds to support victims of modern slavery. 

Tony Thorton, 57
Following the loss of his wife in December 2017 Tony threw himself into physical exercise, joining a gym and a climbing club alongside starting to run again after completing a few half marathons “years ago”.  Tony admits he doesn’t really like running but was so inspired reading the stories of last year’s runners he felt called to sign up. 
As a regional manager for The Salvation Army’s Homelessness services Tony explains, “One of the incentives [to run] is that if you’re the highest [fundraiser] you can win a holiday and I wanted to get the holiday so I could donate it to the service users I work with. I’ve got a tough challenge”.

Emma Sayer, 31
Emma started working for The Salvation Army in 2009 and has been the manager of The Salvation Army’s rare breeds centre on Hadleigh Farm Estate in Essex since 2012. After completing the 3 Peaks Challenge with her friend Sam in 2017, Emma and Sam joined their local running club in pursuit of their next challenge – distance running. They completed their first half marathon in May 2018 and Emma says, “It made sense to me that the full marathon was the next distance.” 
Emma will split the money she raises between the work of Hadleigh Farm and supporting victims of modern slavery. Modern slavery is something Emma feels passionate about, having learnt a lot about the horrors and shocking reality of the crime in recent years. She comments: “It’s scary what goes on behind closed doors.”

Amara Wright, 21 
Amara lost her Granddad last year, a few years after saying goodbye to her grandma. Her grandparents met as members of The Salvation Army as Amara explains, “Granddad would sing in the choir and Grandma was an organ player – The Salvation Army was their life. Without The Salvation Army they wouldn’t have been the people they were. My memory of them was just how lovely and funny they were.”
Following the loss of her Granddad Amara admits she went to a bad place, “I was crying every day because I was so upset. I saw the marathon being advertised and said ‘I can’t imagine doing that - who would be silly enough to do that!’ But then I saw that The Salvation Army offered charity places in the marathon and I wanted to do something to stop me from feeling sorry for myself all day and support a cause in honour of my Grandparents.”

To support all our runners, please visit our London Marathon JustGiving page.