Team Sally Army raise thousands in Virtual London Marathon

published on 19 Oct 2020


Our amazing Virtual London Marathon runners pulled out all the stops in support of The Salvation Army at the beginning of October, despite the atrocious weather!

52 people took on the 26.2 mile challenge on one of the wettest days since records began.  But driving rain and gale force winds didn’t stop our intrepid fundraisers who ran, walked and jogged around their home towns to raise money for The Salvation Army.

For the first time in its 40-year history, the London Marathon took place virtually with around 45,000 people across the UK taking part on Sunday 4 October on a route of their choice.

A fantastic £20,814 has been raised so far by Team Sally Army thanks to our incredible fundraisers’ efforts with donations still coming in.  The final amount will be shared across different Salvation Army Services and projects in the UK and Ireland including our Homelessness Services, Strawberry Field Steps to Work Programme, Early Years and Contact Centres and corps food banks.


Below, read the experiences of some of the participants on what it was like to take part:

“This was my first ever marathon and so it was strange doing it around the streets of Leeds rather than with others in a big race.  The last five miles were brutal and I did wonder whether it would ever end!  But it did and I was thrilled with the amount I raised, and how generous people were.” Caroline Heward

“We completed the Virtual Marathon together in just under 5 hours which we are very proud of, especially as a first-time effort and we had only three weeks to prepare!  It had been our dream to complete a marathon before Robin’s 40th birthday so when the opportunity to join the virtual race and run for the Sally Army came up, so we decided to give it a go.  We were cheered across the finishing line by family and presented with flowers and home-made medals.” Anna Barnish and Robin Brooks–Davies

“I started at midnight and had a tag team through the night cheering me on! Despite my early start, I was finished by 9am, which was great. I am sure I was the slowest, but since having suspected covid-19, I’m not at my fittest and the weather made it even harder – I don’t think I have ever seen so much rain in all my life!” Andrea Stevens

“I was delighted to complete my marathon in 2:50:26, faster than my time in April. I was supported by my girlfriend Phoebe on her bike for the full 26.2 miles, providing nutrition and support along the way. My Mum, Dad and brother also hopped from village to village in the car to cheer me on, before I arrived at the finish at Peterborough Citadel to be met by more support from a few friends, waiting socially-distanced in the car park.”  Cameron Dockerill

“While I was by myself for a lot of the race, my two brothers in law ran remotely and rang me so I could hear them in my ear.  My husband Mark did a couple of miles and a friend ran the last seven miles with me. As well as that, what other year would I have got to listen to Paula Radcliffe on the radio cheering me on in my ear!  I smashed my £3,000 target so Iam feeling pretty chuffed about that!” Captain Emma Scott

“I planned my route along the canal and it was great to hear other canal users cheering me on! It was a wonderful feeling when the app said I had done it and hearing the app cheering too was a fitting end!” Kezzie Medford


When your legs get tired and you feel like you can’t go on, run with your heart

“I completed the race in 5hrs and 4 minutes with my friend by my side. It was one of the hardest runs of my life and at times I really ran with my heart. It was people’s prayers and support that got me to the finish line. I still can’t believe I ran a marathon and I try and bring it up in every conversation.  I will always remember why I did it, to make a small difference in the world.” Ruth Gray

“I ran between Clacton and Walton Pier.  The weather was appalling with strong gale force winds, rain and waves crashing over the sea wall.  It felt more like an endurance race than a marathon, but I managed to finish in 4hrs 10mins 22secs.” Timothy Pickard

“I had a great run despite being under-trained, but I am a veteran of many marathons (can I mention I ran 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days back in February?!) so I managed the task in a bold fashion, despite some uncomfortableness.  I ran on two major A roads with good pavements and the level of interaction from passing traffic was amazing. Horns were pipped, lights were flashed and arms were waved.” Roger Cornish

“It was an absolute privilege to take part in the Virtual London Marathon on behalf of my church, Feltham Salvation Army and to raise awareness and money for our food bank where I volunteer. I still can't believe I did it!  It was an awesome day.  It was gruelling but also very humbling and elating.  It was dark and pouring with rain at 6am when I started but I had bags full of enthusiasm so the weather didn't dampen my spirit.  By mile 17, I was soaked through, frozen to the bone and my legs were seizing up. My hands were also completely numb so I had to get the bus back home to change out of my wet clothes and warm up before I could head out again to finish. My corps officer Captain Ellie joined me in the final leg, walking the last 9.2 miles beside me, and I was now dressed as a giant peeled banana!  Ellie was so encouraging and kept me going when my legs and feet wanted to give up! The last few miles were agony, but I was determined to finish because I know just how important to our community, our food bank is!  Dressed as banana, lots of cars were tooting and waving which gave me a huge boost! It was a privilege to ‘go bananas’ and raised funds for our food bank!” Sarah-Jane Woodgate

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