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20th September 2022

Runners gear up for London Marathon to raise funds for Hospice

Twenty people are gearing up to take on the gruelling TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2nd October to raise vital funds for St Helena Hospice.

Paul Davison from Eight Ash Green is adding an extra challenge as he is setting out to run seven marathons in seven days - almost 184 miles in a week. On the six days ahead of the TCS London Marathon, Paul will be starting at the Hospice in Highwoods, Colchester, and running 26.2 miles to a different St Helena Hospice charity shop location each day, starting on Monday 26th September. Paul said:

“As a seasoned marathon runner, I wanted to really push myself, so to try and maximise fundraising for St Helena Hospice I am running 7 marathons in 7 days, with my last one being in London on 2nd October. I will be running from the Hospice each day and finishing at one of the hospice shops. My lovely wife Sarah is taking the week off so will be supporting me and be at the end each day to get me home. 

“I’ve worked locally in the NHS for many years and been privileged to work with numerous colleagues at St Helena Hospice and seen the commitment and passion they have. I also know many people with friends or family that have been supported by St Helena and have been touched by the stories they have shared.   

“I have been running for almost a decade now and am officially obsessed! I have run around 10 official marathons, but numerous other ultra marathons including 50 milers and right up to 100 miles in a 24-hour event last year. 

Image: Paul with St Helena Hospice matrons

Michaela Sen, quality improvement & patient safety matron; TCS London Marathon runner Paul Davison; Niamh Eve, Hospice matron

“I enjoy the freedom and space I have when running, and the ability to shut everything else out, but I am also fiercely competitive, mainly with myself, and enjoy the challenge of trying to go further and faster.

“I belong to Great Bentley Running Club, and it is a great way to meet other runners, make friends, socialise, attend races, and a great excuse to eat lots of cake! 

“I’d encourage anyone wanting to start to run, or take on a challenge like London Marathon, to join a local running club. They cater for all ages and abilities and most have regular structured training sessions as well as social runs, and it really helps to have that support around you.

“My best marathon time is 3 hours and 9 minutes but after six marathons in a week, I will not be aiming for that in London. Just getting there and getting round will be great and anything under 4 hours 30 minutes would be fantastic. It is the experience I really want, not the time. 

“I’ve not run the London Marathon before but spectated for the first-time last year and the atmosphere was amazing, I can’t wait to be immersed in that as a runner.”

Nineteen of the runners took up a Golden Bond place in this year’s London Marathon and one secured their spot through the general ballot.  

The TCS London Marathon will be the third in a series of four running challenges for Tim Clifton, Deputy Director for Digital and Information at St Helena Hospice, which has already seen him completing a 50k ultramarathon and a further 27.2 miles in the Mayor & Tortoise run at Essex University’s Wivenhoe Park campus last Sunday (18th September).

Tim, also a Great Bentley Running Club member, is no stranger to a long distance challenge having previously run 14 marathons and 4 ultramarathons in the last 10 years. Tim said:

“I have a running streak of more than 900 consecutive days; no days off since 21st March 2020, so it is now a habit as opposed to motivation that gets me out the door. 

“I like cake, sausages and beer, and running helps to burn off some of those unnecessary calories. 

“I’m looking forward to running in such a historic and iconic event and experiencing the mass support you get to see on TV. I am hoping to finish in around five hours and I’ll be running in memory of Josseline, my wife’s mother.

Image: Tim Clifton

Tim Clifton, Deputy Director for Digital and Information at St Helena Hospice

“I’ve worked for St Helena Hospice for 16 years and always wanted to run the London Marathon but haven’t wanted to take a golden bond place away from someone who might be able to raise more than me. 

“A very short notice opportunity to run London came up when one of the St Helena Hospice runners got injured, and so I took that place with the aim of raising as much as possible for this amazing charity.

“Although my place was only secured mid-August, my aim is to raise at least £2,000 even in this short amount of time. I’ve added on three other events to make the challenge that much harder.”

Lisa Chenery, fundraiser at St Helena Hospice, said: 

“We are in awe of Paul and Tim taking on the TCS London Marathon but also the extra marathon challenges they have set themselves to raise as much money as possible for St Helena Hospice. 

“Together, all our fantastic marathon runners have so far raised more than £39,000 to help local people face incurable illness and bereavement, which is incredible!

“They’ve all been training throughout the heatwave to take on the iconic TCS London Marathon and we are so grateful to them all for choosing to support us.

“We can’t wait to spot them in their St Helena Hospice tops among the runners on Sunday 2nd October and cheer them all over the finishing line on The Mall in London. Go Team St Helena!”

Image: some of the London Marathon runners in support of St Helena Hospice

Some of the TCS London Marathon runners raising funds for St Helena Hospice


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