We’d forgive you for thinking the Leading Light campaign had gone quiet. Only just, and only because we’re really nice, but we’d forgive you. The first months of the year have been spent making big plans for the rest of it, trying to bring the Hadrian’s Wall run together and plan the national cycling tour that will become the centrepiece of our the campaign’s fundraising year. For now, that will remain shrouded in mystery. We’ve used every other spare minute to get down to the gym or out on the road, working hard towards the next event.
I’ve said all the way through that this campaign is about slowly building a bigger and bigger circle of people, offering anyone who wants to make their contribution to beating blood cancer a place to do it.
I’m over the moon to be able to bring you the first official Leading Light London Marathon Team for this year’s race. Our 3-strong unit of Claire Buky-Webster, Barry Blears and myself will join 40,000 others, and no doubt hundreds of LLR supporters, in the streets of London on 21 April this year.
They’ll introduce themselves in the next few weeks and let you know how the training and the fundraising is going, but here is a little bit about Claire and Barry.
Claire was inspired to get involved after hearing Cathy Gilman, LLR’s Chief Executive, talk about how close we are to beating blood cancers – a case of ‘when’ not ‘if’. This will be her third marathon, but her first London Marathon. Claire has set herself a challenge of posting her best time in London, hopefully finishing in under four hours. Claire never met Steven, but feels that everyone can offer something in the fight against blood cancer – she is a real example of what the campaign is about.
This will be Barry’s first marathon, and the fact I’ll be on the start line with him means the world to me. Barry is Steven’s younger brother, and has been at the heart of this entire effort since the very beginning along with the rest of Steven’s family. That our work matters to them has always been the most important thing for me, and after completing a Great North Run, Barry has set his sights on the full distance. No mean feat for someone who has had major knee surgery after ligament damage.
We’ve all been training really hard through the cold, windy, rainy winter. Running before and after work, almost always in the dark, there really isn’t much positive energy to drive you on. All you want to be is warm and dry, but you have to keep going.
Now it’s about adding the finishing touches and raising as much money as possible to make it all worthwhile.
You can donate here - please put the name of the person you're supporting in the message box.
We’d love to see you out there on the street in April, cheering on the Leading Light team. More importantly though, we’d love it if you could help us keep the total climbing. We’re currently between £18-19,000 – it would mean the world to us if we could push £22,000 by the time we reach the finish line on the Mall in a few Sundays time.