Our 2016 London Marathon Team

Our Inspirational London Marathon Runners

25 of our fantastic supporters ran the 2016 London Marathon to raise money for Action Against Hunger. Here is a glimpse into the stories and motivation of some of the team.

By Action Against Hunger

May 4 2016

Meet The Team

Action Against Hunger's 2016 London Marathon was our biggest and best yet. 25 runners from all over the world and all walks of life came together in London, all with the goal of raising money for our work in 42 countries around the world. Their reasons for taking part were varied, interesting and most of all, inspirational. Below are some snapshots into their motivations for taking part. 

Colette Mahieu

“My grandma is turning 100 this year, so I really wanted to mark the occasion. It’s also my birthday today, so I thought the marathon would be a perfect thing to do to mark the two. My grandma has been able to live for 100 years, but so many people can’t live anywhere near as long because they are hungry. With everything that’s going on the world, I think it’s really important to support international charities – we’re so fortunate here. I think Action Against Hunger is a really good charity, and I know from talking to friends that it’s a charity they support as well.

“My training has not been too bad but definitely busy – I’ve been doing it over three continents. I’ve been training in Sydney, Perth, Italy, Colorado and London. All very glamourous locations but it certainly hasn’t felt glamourous! 

“I think my friends are thinking of something as we speak to celebrate my birthday and hopefully me finishing the marathon. I haven’t even thought about how I’m going to treat myself at the end but hopefully I’ll have a beer or a glass of champagne.”

Nikesh Patel

“I did Live Below The Line (living off a £1 a day for 5 days) last year. It was a big challenge and eye opening about why this charity is doing the work it does. Not having enough to eat for a week, but even then knowing there is an end in sight, was an eye opening experience about how being so low on food can be. It definitely planted the seed for doing something like the marathon this year.

“Training has been good – there was a definitely a cut-off point which I was warned about, where you’ll suddenly get bored of running, which I think happened. But I’m confident about finishing it. I’m looking forward to the adrenalin and the excitement of the day.”

Joaquin Monforte

“I’m running all the six major marathons (London, Tokyo, Boston, Berlin, Chicago and New York) in three years, which is a one of my motivations – this is also the first time I’m running for a charity. So I’m doubly motivated.

“I’ve been doing 12 weeks of training for 5 days a week, so I hope I’m ready. I’m aiming to run the marathon today in three hours and eight minutes.

“After the race I’m definitely going to have a beer. It has a lot of antioxidants and carbohydrates – I’m serious! It’s really good for your muscles.”

Tammi Kane

“I turned 50 last year and I knew the marathon wasn’t going to get any easier! So this is my first one. 

“Preparations have been going really well. I did the Silverstone half marathon, to get me in the spirit. It took a lot of the mystery away. Training has been brilliant, my toenails all grew back, and I’m ready to go.

“I was looking for a charity that was working with children, especially children in need. With the Syrian Crisis specifically it definitely hit home. I have a 10 year old daughter, and I believe that all children are entitled to safe lives, full tummies, a roof over their head, and a decent education. Action Against Hunger seemed like it ticked all the boxes for me.

“I think at the end all I’ll want is a hot bath. I think maybe the glass of wine can wait until tomorrow, it’s been a month!”

Nicos Symeou

“This is my 19th London Marathon. I’ve ran for lots of charities over the years and this is one of the best ones. I feel it’s great to be able to support all the underprivileged children around the world. 

“The first London Marathon I did was in 1982. Back then, there was about 20,000 of us. There are 50,000 of us now, and the crowds have got larger throughout the years. It’s a fantastic and very emotional day. Lots of people are supporting very worthy charities.

“I’m dressing up as a Victorian person – all in one swimwear, with a bow tie and a big moustache. I want to enjoy today as much as I can, and hopefully get around in about four hours twenty.”

Sara Sherafat Scott

“I don’t think I’m a marathon runner yet but after today maybe I can say I am.

“I think Action Against Hunger is a great charity and close to my heart, because of the work it does helping the malnutrition crisis worldwide – especially its work with children.

“This is my first marathon – I’m quite excited but nervous about doing it. Preparation was good but I got an injury in my peak week. I didn’t run for two and a half weeks and I’ve only done one week training since then. That’s not helped but we’ll see how it goes.”

Alison Sims

“I decided to do the marathon, and then I was deciding who to run it for. Reading about Action Against Hunger on their site, I really felt it was a great fit for me. It’s an international charity and I travel a great deal with work. So the fact that they raise money in so many countries, I think more than 40, seems like a great fit.

“I split my time between the Cayman Islands, London and New York. Training is really varied. It’s been super hot in Cayman recently, to the point of being too hot. So it’s nice to be back in London where you feel like you aren’t getting poached.

“Training has been really good. I’ve kept up with my training schedule, which has been on my fridge. I’ve been lucky with injuries, I haven’t had even niggles or nasty pains yet.”

Urvashi Roe

“This is my first time doing a marathon. I’ve done two halves before – one about four years ago for my 40th birthday, and then I did the Silverstone half a few weeks ago to practice.

“I’ve followed the work of Action Against Hunger for the last three or four years, and admired how a small charity can achieve so much. I decided I wanted to run the marathon and Action Against Hunger was the first charity that came to mind. I’ve met so many of you and talked to you all about all the different kinds of work you are doing, in so many different places and I just felt quite inspired by that.

 “Practice has been going okay. So the only thing I’ve been struggling with really is the nutrition side of things – I can’t really get my head around what to eat and when. I haven’t been avoiding cakes at all! I had a lemon and coconut sponge cake yesterday with my in-laws, I had a salted caramel brownie yesterday as well, and then a flapjack just before bedtime”

Daniel Sillitoe

“In 2014 I was working in Ghana. I saw a lot of things out there – malnourished kids and that kind of thing. Last year I told myself to do the marathon and this charity was one of the first ones I saw. Everything you do was everything I had witnessed myself, so it’s the perfect charity for it.

“I haven’t even done a half marathon before or anything. If you’re gonna go, go for it.

“Training has been going okay. There has been a few littles glitches – pulled muscles and things like that. I haven’t got a target or anything like that, I just want to get to the finish line. It’s be nice to go for five to five and a half hours but if I go over that it doesn’t really bother me, it’s just about getting it done”

Nona Suarez

“I’m from the Philippines. I looked into what Action Against Hunger do – you have a strong presence in the Philippines and I felt this is a charity I want to support – a charity that supports Filipinos. That’s basically the reason why I’m supporting Action Against Hunger.

“I’ve just flown over from the Philippines in the last few days. I got a little injured when I ran my last long run of 35km. I think I’m okay – I got a note from the doctor, so I should be okay – I better be okay!

“After it’s all over, I’m going back to four coffees a day, which I haven’t been able to do while training. I’m gonna get a lot of sleep. I’ve been busy training and nursing my injuries so I haven’t had any time. So I’m gonna tour London! That’s what I’m doing after the marathon.”

You Can Do It

We want to thank every one of the 25 runners, all their sponsors, and everyone who came out to support them on the day.

Feeling inspired by our brilliant runners? Entries for the 2017 London Marathon are now open. If you are interested in running for Action Against Hunger, or hearing more about this year's participants, please get in touch with David Copsey at d.copsey@actionagainsthunger.org.uk

Photo Credits: Tom Fitzpatrick for Action Against Hunger