Racing’s people get their running shoes on for charity this weekend
Both racing and non-racing charities will benefit from the hard work, training and fundraising efforts of the sport’s marathon runners this weekend. Together for the Tote’s Susannah Gill is aiming for a PB in support of SportsAid, following her remarkable world record performance at World Marathon 777 in February (read Susannah’s blog on this here).
Matt Gingell explains what motivated him to take on the London Marathon in support of the Injured Jockeys Fund.
“I have supported the Injured Jockeys Fund all my life. From throwing a fist-full of coins into a bucket leaving a Point to Point to buying the odd tie/mug when I see the IJF stand.
“Then, in Oct 2008 my Mother was crushed by a horse charging a gateway and has been left paralysed. Only then did I begin to get an insight into this amazing organisation. The amount of support and advice has been so instrumental in being able to adjust to a complete change of life. It has been a very long and rocky road with lots of different memories but the one which will always stay with me was mother receiving a Christmas hamper from the IJF soon after it happened and her saying to me that she couldn’t believe how good it felt to feel part of something.
“Having seen all the rehabilitation centres and how effective they are in every aspect of recovery from the top jockeys to all the lads and lasses, it is a truly remarkable charity. I ask you to be as generous as possible in my support for them.”
Racing Welfare to field a 13-strong team
No less than 13 runners will endure the 26.2 miles of the London Marathon to raise money for Racing Welfare.
Godolphin holds a strong hand this year with five team members coming from their corner, including Managing Director, Hugh Anderson. Having initially pledged to raise £15,000, Team Godolphin has smashed that total with a current mark of £24,416. Completing their team is Anna Ridges, Jonno Mills, David Walsh and Neil Pollard. Hugh said:
“Our aim is to raise as much money as we can for a charity that is close to Godolphin’s heart and one that is absolutely crucial to the racing industry.”
Darren Moore considers Racing Welfare as a very personal cause having received support from the charity to overcome his battle with alcoholism. Darren completed the Three Peaks Challenge in September 2018 in aid of Racing Welfare and has now decided to give the London Marathon a go, saying:
“I have a lot back in my life that I had lost and a lot of that is thanks to the fantastic work that Racing Welfare do. I wouldn’t be living the life I am today if I didn’t have their backing and support when I needed it.”
He added: “I’m also trying to raise awareness and show that there is a way out of addiction, and that anyone in the racing industry can go to Racing Welfare for help if they are struggling.”
Sophie Hellyer of the Racegoers Club had not run beyond 5k before beginning her marathon training, but she jumped at the chance to push herself in aid of Racing Welfare.
“I’m really looking forward to running the marathon, not only as a personal achievement but also as a way of giving something back and supporting those who work in the racing industry,” she said.
Also connected to Racing Welfare through the Racegoers Club is Perth Racecourse’s Racing Manager, Matthew Taylor. Inspired by his father’s running accomplishments, Matthew said:
“My father completed both the Vitality Big Half and London Marathon and he has inspired me to do the same.”
The London Marathon is an event that has always been on the bucket list for Nigel Kitching. Nigel, 66, works for Mark Dwyer and is a keen runner, having previously completed both ultra-marathons and marathons. He said:
“Racing Welfare is such a great charity and I’ve seen the work that they have done to help so many people working in the industry.”
Edinburgh University student Algy Stanley, 20, is this year’s youngest team member. He cites some of his fondest childhood memories as being from racing in Newmarket, saying:
“I was born and live in Newmarket and have had a passion for racing my whole life. The marathon is a wonderful opportunity to give back to an industry which has given me so much pleasure.”
Racing TV presenter Niall Hannity is taking on the marathon for the second time in aid of Racing Welfare. A great patron of the charity in the North, Niall undertook commentary duties at last week’s ARC Middleham Open Day and was raring to go after completing his last long run before the event.
John Webb is Racing Manager for West Racing Partnership as well as being an avid horseracing fan. He said:
“Taking part in the London Marathon and representing Racing Welfare is my way of giving back to everyone working in the racing industry in recognition of all their hard work and commitment.”
Completing Racing Welfare’s team this year is James White. James’s wife Emma is General Manager of Sedgefield Racecourse and he has been spurred on to run by her praise of the work that Racing Welfare does. James took up a place following injury to another participant.
The Racing Welfare team has a fundraising target of £30,500, a figure already surpassed by the current total which sits at £33,300 with many more pledged amounts expected upon completion.
Speaking about the contribution of the runners, Mark Loades, Racing Welfare’s Head of Fundraising, said:
“A huge thank you to all 13 runners for dedicating their time and effort to raising money for Racing Welfare. The London Marathon is a highlight in our calendar of fundraising challenges each year and we wish every single one of our team the very best of luck for what we hope will be a fantastic day.”
Follow all of Racing Welfare’s runners’ progress on social media in the build up to Sunday and throughout the day by searching for #TeamRacingWelfare.