Limbering up to raise funds at the London Marathon

RUNNERS from across the Diocese are in training for the London Marathon to raise money for charities.

Tens of thousands of people pass Tower Bridge during the London Marathon. Photo: Shutterstock.

The Revd Kate Stacey, the Vicar of the Wychwood Benefice in Oxfordshire, and Ben Schiffer-Harte, a teacher who worships at St Mary’s, Thatcham are both in training to run the iconic 26.2 mile race for Christian Aid on Sunday 23 April.

Harry Routledge, 37, will be running to raise funds for Parents and Children Together (PACT). The Revd Janet Binns, the Rector of Hedsor with Bourne End Benefice in Buckinghamshire, is running to raise funds for an audio system in St Nicholas’s Church in Hedsor. Harry and his wife Claire adopted three children through PACT, the adoption charity that has close connections with the Oxford Diocese. Harry is one of seven runners who will be taking on the challenge for PACT.

Harry said: “Adoption is not easy for all concerned, but it’s absolutely worth it. We have become the ‘Fantastic 5’ and owe part of it to the support we received from PACT, as well as the fact that we would never have been introduced to our daughters and son if it had not been for this charitable organisation. To adopt a sibling group of three children is tough, even more so when they are all under four, particularly at once, but they deserved to stay together.”

For Ben, 2017 will be his eighth marathon and fourth in London. He is training with Thatcham based running club Team Kennet and hopes to complete the marathon in three hours. “For any marathon runner this is a huge achievement,” he says. Ben says that since joining St Mary’s, he and his wife Jo have been made to feel very welcome and made good friends.
They have been involved in fundraising events, including a quiz for Christian Aid. “Fast forward four months and I received a Golden Bond (a guaranteed charity place) courtesy of Christian Aid. To top it off and make it even more of an incentive for people to sponsor me I am running the Paris Marathon only two weeks earlier.”

London will be Kate’s first marathon and she says that being the Sunday after Easter Day, it’s not perfect timing for a vicar. “Trying to carve out the time for training is getting tricky as the runs get longer, but it’s a good discipline.”

When she reaches the start line at London, Janet will be embarking on her 12th marathon. “I am aiming to raise £2,000. I usually train for a time of three-and-a-half hours. London is amazing because the crowds are fantastic.”