Action Against Hunger charity team Virgin Money London Marathon 2017

Inspiring London Marathon Runners

From all walks of life, 38 runners took on the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017 this is a snapshot into their motivations and how they felt before they ran.

By Action Against Hunger

Apr 27 2017

Meet the team

On Sunday 23rd April, a 38-strong team of Action Against Hunger runners successfully finished the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017. From all walks of life, the team came together to raise funds to allow our teams around the world to deliver life-saving treatment to those in need. Their reasons to run kept them going through months of training; this is a snapshot of their motivations and how they felt on the start-line.  


Ian Tooley  

"I'm feeling very nervous - for this race I've been training for about four months but I haven't finished my training journey as I'm training for another race later on this year, I have an Ironman in August in Hamburg." 

"I've tried to get into the ballot over 7 times, and never got in... I heard about Action Against Hunger from a friend, Nicos who has run for Action Against Hunger before - he said 'they will sort you out with a place', and here I am!"


Caroline Zyla  

"This is my first marathon. I've done quite a few half marathons, but never a full one - this is the big one! I'm excited, terrified, emotional, can't wait!" 

"I wanted to do the marathon and do it for a charity, came across your website. It's nice not having 200-300 runners - it means you're doing something quite important." 

"You find out about yourself, and it's an amazing experience. The whole thing has been incredible. I've loved every second! The fact that people have been so supportive, it just blows you away, a really humbling experience."  

Alison Sims 

"I did it last year so slightly less nervous than last year knowing I finished it, nothing broke, nothing fell off, so really excited." 

"It was great to be able to run for a global charity doing amazing things, amazing projects, so it was a natural choice to run for Action Against Hunger again." 

"I travel quite a bit with work, so I've had really good varied training, running in 85-90 heat in the Caymans to minus 10 in New York, and raining in England… I'm prepared for any eventuality!" 

"I'll celebrate with whatever my Mum is cooking, I think it's a pork meatloaf with a glass of wine." 


Sam Jarrett 

"I'm pretty nervous, it’s my first marathon, so I've done all the training, but you're never quite sure about the unknown. I’m nervous, excited, happy." 

"I moved to London six months ago, and when I moved I thought, what the hell, just do it! I've done the odd 10k and half marathon, but my dad did six marathons and he's on the finish line. He's brought his medal with him from the London Marathon from 20 years ago, that'll be a nice touch." 

"I hit my fundraising target last weekend, so I was really chuffed. I went for a run a few days after and I was really quite emotional - I didn't think I could raise that amount, and then run the distances. It was a great moment." 

James and Sally Wellock 

"We are father and daughter. We decided to run Marathon des Sables and we thought we'd run another marathon first, and London is obviously massive." 

"For me it is about finding out that you can run 5 miles, you can run 10 miles, it's like wow you get home after a long training run and think crikey, I've just run 20 odd miles!" 

"Our company, Wellocks, supplies restaurants and hotels with all their ingredients; fruit and veg, cheese, dairy, dry stores, and some chefs that we supply like Frances Atkins (Yorke Arms) did your Ambassador Challenge in Ethiopia last year so we knew about Action Against Hunger through that." 

"With the cause, with it being about food, it was a natural progression to get involved. Everybody in our industry appreciates it." 

Katie Andrews 

"I'm OK, I'm a bit nervous, but I'm hoping that the crowd will help me get through the tougher miles." 

"This is my first marathon, I've done a half marathon recently but this is my first 26.2." 

"You really learn a lot about yourself doing the training, and learn a lot about what you can do." 

"After I finish I'm going straight to Shoreditch to meet all of my running crew and I'm having the biggest roast beef dinner I've ever eaten in all my life."

Harriet Brown 

"I'm very nervous but really excited. It’s the first time I've ever really done any long-running, so it's been an adventure!"

"I went to watch a few years ago and thought it was so amazing - the crowds were incredible and so I thought ‘I want to do that. Can I do it?’ Here I am after getting a place."

"We work for the Change Group, a recruitment company specialising in chef and hospitality recruitment and so obviously the food industry is really close to our hearts, and Action Against Hunger is a charity I’ve known for many years as well having worked for Carluccio’s previously, so when I saw it I thought it was a no-brainer - a great charity and something I believe in." 

Craig Allen 

"I work for the Change Group too. This is my second marathon - I did 2008, so 9 years ago. I wanted to do another challenge this year; I know lots of people that work with your charity so heard great things about what you do. Signed up and here I am, four months later." 

"We work with a lot of people in the industry that do a lot of charity work with you, that inspired me to get our company involved, especially with all the crises happening across the world this year".

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Photo Credits: Derek Pelling for Action Against Hunger