London Marathon 2021
3rd October 2021
Your fundraising could make all the difference...
Dig Deep With Penny Appeal- You can run the Virgin Money London Marathon to fund the construction of an entire water well that will serve a community day in, day out, providing them with fresh, clean water. We all know that water is an essential need – but as well as being integral to stay hydrated, it is also indispensable to feed livestock and other animals so a regular source of income can be maintained, paving the way for the freedom of self-sufficiency we take for granted. Penny Appeal’s Dig Deep campaign aims to provide safe, clean drinking water for children, families and the elderly living in Africa
Meet some of our runners...
Haroon Mota - Penny Appeal Fundraising Manager
AKA 'Marathon Man'
"I absolutely love running and nothing satisfies me more than bringing people together to get active for good causes and helping motivate others to achieve their goals. I've applied in the London Marathon ballot for 8 consecutive years and have never been successful, but it hasn't stopped me getting here. I've now ran the London Marathon 6 times and have always ran for charity. We've just had an amazing 2019 London Marathon campaign which saw our team raise over £50,000. The majority of our runners were first timers so it's a great achievement for them to complete 26.2 miles for the first time. We're extremely proud of our runners and hope that more people will join us for 2029. Enter the ballot if you fancy your luck, but if you're serious about taking on the challenge then you really should apply for one of our charity places. Hurry, we have limited spaces".
I had started running back in 2015 to lose weight, I had completed a few 10K fundraising runs for Penny Appeal where I had raised money for various projects including campaigns such as 'Feed our world' and 'Thirst Relief'.
After numerous 10K runs, I decided to take the plunge and go for the biggie and decided to apply for the London Marathon 2019 with Penny Appeal and this was to help build water-wells in Africa.
I started my training in December of 2018 and was running 3 times a week. My schedule included 7 miles on Tuesdays, 3 miles on a Thursday and anything between 15 to 20 miles on a Sunday. My runs on a Sunday would start at 8am in the morning and finish at 12pm in the afternoon. It was a big sacrifice to make over 4 months giving up Sundays with the family, but knowing that friends and family were sponsoring me kept me going.
I was a little worried at first about the fundraising target but with a bit of a push I managed to raise over £8,000. I really appreciated the support I received from Penny Appeal with my fundraising and the peer support from the rest of the team was great too. It was great being part of a bigger team and the support via the WhatsApp group was brilliant and made me feel like I was part of the Team Orange family.
On the day of the marathon the atmosphere was just amazing. The weather was perfect for running, it was great to have family there at different parts of the race and knowing the Team Orange cheer station was at certain mile markers really kept me going.
My hardest mile came at mile 20 when my Garmin watch said I’d done 22 miles and for me to see the 20 mile marker, my head went a little bit and I walked for about 5 minutes but the support from the spectators was so good and gave me so much energy I had to start running again. I finished the race in under 5 hours which was my target and it was great to see the team after the race and discuss how it had been for everyone. I said I’d never do another marathon however I’m looking at maybe doing the Berlin Marathon in 2020 with Penny Appeal. I’m also running the Great North Run in September 2019.
Running has been a huge intrinsic passion of mine, especially in the last few years. Using what I love in order to spark a better life for others partly for the remembrance of my late brother led me to run the great London marathon with Penny Appeal. Water is something absolutely no person can live without and unfortunately with still so many not being able to get access to clean water, I could only dedicate this challenging run to raise money for those that were in need of accessible water wells in Africa.
Whilst running brought mass joy in knowing the difference it could make to others lives, it was also an enormous challenge that I managed to overcome. The unique experience that came from taking part in the marathon in relation to Penny Appeal has only motivated me to again consider supporting such a wonderful charity.
After realising the impact of inaccessibility of water and the challenge I was to take on, both my friends and family donated, however my biggest support came from my two brothers who supported from start to finish.
Overall it has been a fantastic experience and I’m glad I took the chance to take part in such an amazing event when I did.