This Sunday, 13 of our supporters will be donning their running shoes at the Virgin Money London Marathon after months of hard work and training.

Our running champions, who are named below will be coming from across the UK, USA, Denmark and Dubai to test their endurance and to raise funds to help beat leprosy.

Tom Barton, Shawn Benson, Claudia Daventry, Alejandro Demichelis, Rebecca Emmett, Chris Hope, Kieran Murphy, Rasmus Norgaard, Peter Østrem, Phil Parkes, Victoria Thwaites, Sangeeta Wagh and Laura West.

We caught up with Victoria, Chris and Alejandro ahead of the race…

Victoria Thwaites

What made you decide to run for Lepra?

I've wanted to run the London marathon for years and I worked with Lepra for a while a few years ago. I was so impressed with how efficient and focused Lepra was in its approach to neglected diseases. 

What was the best part about your training?

So many good bits! Realising that you can do a half marathon in an evening and still go to work the next day. Eating all the carbohydrates. Meeting other runners. 

Chris Hope

What made you decide to run for Lepra?

Apart from the fantastic work Lepra do worldwide, the fact that they are one of the smaller charities appealed to me. I feel that my fundraising efforts for them would make more of an impact than being one of hundreds of fundraisers for a larger organisation. The support that I’ve had from Holly and the team has been excellent and I will definitely be fundraising for them in the future.

What was the best part about your training?

My training took me to places that I didn’t even know existed and I’ve come to realise just how naturally beautiful the Welsh hills and Valleys are. If I didn’t endure the early rise for my training, I would not have seen dawn break over the Welsh hills, or the frozen lakes in the Brecon Beacons.

Alejandro Demichelis

What advice would you give to people thinking about running the marathon?

If you are thinking about running the marathon, the best advice I have is just do it! Also, the Lepra team have been very supportive from day one and that has made a huge difference.

Do you have any training tips?

Try to train with a group as it is so much easier than training on your own – particularly on those cold days in January and February!

Good luck!

We wish them all the best of luck and we would like to say a huge thank you for their fundraising efforts, which will lead us one step closer in our fight to beat leprosy.

We’ll be cheering everybody on this Sunday!

Think you’ve got what it takes?

Register your interest to run the London Marathon for Lepra next year. 

Register an interest