Meet Our 2018 London Marathon Runners

George Heslop's Story 

Sponsor George Here ►

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Last year my father suffered a life-changing stroke. It was one of the most heart-breaking and stressful 48hrs for him and my family.

Thankfully given the speed of the paramedics and the great work of Carlisle's Cumberland Infirmary, my father has not lost any of his mobility, speech or memory - but the stroke has rendered him 90% blind.

This has had a huge impact on his confidence and independence as he is unable to get from A to B unassisted.

The work Ability Bow is doing to help people with strokes and other disabilities is truly remarkable. Reading the gym members' stories and how they've been supported to make life changing recoveries by the service is very inspiring. I want to help in any way I can to keep this wonderful gym open for many years to come."

I want to run the London Marathon for Ability Bow to: 

  • Raise money for a fantastic charity
  • Challenge myself in a huge way

Marathon Experience and Training 

I've done many half marathons but never a full one, so I can't wait for April. I otherwise have experience of running two or three half marathons including Brighton and Richmond Park. Apart from running I like cycling and playing football.

Training is going good, I've started light running and plan to add a mile on every week leading up to April. I also plan on doing a half marathon around February in preparation.

I love the feeling (once I've forced myself out of bed) of getting out and doing a few miles before breakfast.

Thoughts About The Day

I'm looking forward to the whole day, the atmosphere, the people, the view of London, the crowd, everything! I'm really looking forward to it but obviously there is a lot of work to do before then.

I've already exceeded my target fundraising total of £1,350 and am now at £1,615 thanks to all the wonderful people who've donated! Thank you so much - you can keep helping with my sponsorship by clicking the link above my story! 


Sabrina Poinsamy's Story 

Sponsor Sabrina Here ► 

As I used to live in Bow and was familiar with the gym, I became aware of the work Ability Bow does and how it contributes to the local community since my brother was advised to attend because of his diabetes. 

I want to run the London Marathon for Ability Bow to: 

  • Compete on behalf of people who are not able to do so, including some of those attending Ability Bow
  • Enable me to keep fit and help with mental wellbeing

Marathon Experience and Training 

I've run 5k and 10k routes before - the latter in the London Stadium - and the Urban Rush half marathon before, but this will be a great challenge for me! 

As I became engaged in running about 18 months ago, it's helped me to regain fitness and allowed me to tackle changes in my personal life, as well as channeling my emotions, ensuring I push further and become healthier! 

Why Sabrina Loves Our Gym 

Ability Bow provides such amazing inclusive fitness facilities and expert help from all of its friendly and highly-qualified instructors to people with disabilities and even those who've never used a gym before (or who wouldn't normally participate in exercise!). 

It's such an amazing feeling to be part of the marathon and what a way to do it by running for such a really great cause!


Tommy Witham's Story 

Sponsor Tommy Here ► 

Though not at Ability Bow themselves, the last year for me has been pretty tough with both my parents having serious illnesses resulting in them both being hospitalised for some time.

Both are on the road to full recovery but the situations have made me aware more than ever of how important it is to keep fit and stay mobile.

I imagine we all know someone whose physical rehabilitation has needed to continue long after they have been discharged from hospital and this is the kind of work that Ability Bow helps with.

Marathon Experience and Training 

This will be my first marathon and I'm extremely motivated to run well and raise loads of cash. My preparation is going very well, as I am pretty focussed when I'm out running.

It's great to fundraise for a local charity and great to run for somewhere that you can see directly where your efforts go to. Ability Bow is a great gym that does fantastic work, so I would be eternally grateful for your support and any donation you can afford.


Miren Davies' Story

Sponsor Miren Here ►

As many of you will know I am running the London Marathon on 22nd April 2018 and then cycling from London to Paris 10 days later.

I have decided to support Ability Bow because: 

  • They help a wide variety of people with disabilities, long term health conditions and those who otherwise would not be able to afford the gym
  • People with MS, stroke and Parkinson's disease conditions are supported into into exercise

Health and Wellbeing Impact 

As a local GP I see the devastating results of some of these conditions and I also know exercise will help such patients' mental and physical health.

In the UK, low level physical activity is responsible for 40% of many long-term conditions such as diabetes costing £0.9dn to the NHS.

What Ability Bow try to achieve is to help remove the barriers that people with disabilities and long term conditions experience by working in a very individual way; doing one-to-one exercise sessions and setting personal and realistic goals.


Our other amazing marathon team members 

The stories above are just some of the many accounts which our marathon runners have given us as reasons why they are running this year's Virgin London Marathon for Ability Bow. 

Take a look at our other team members' stories and sponsor them from the list below: 

Andy Sawyer's Story

Ability Bow are an amazing local charity! Running this year's marathon will be my first (and last)! I've run in the Big Half marathon for just over 13 miles in London and in April, I'll be running for more than 5 hours in the Virgin London Marathon covering 26.2 miles!"

Read more about Andy and sponsor him now ►

Dean Kruger's Story

Running for Ability Bow is certainly the perfect choice. They are a truly inspiring charity. That's why I feel it is so important to help support people who don't have the ability or confidence to get out there, and help provide them the same basic outlet that we all have." 

Read more about Dean and sponsor him now ►

Aleksandra Golubeva's Story 

Having run other marathons before, I know how much of a challenge it is both physically and mentally! I feel privileged to have been given an opportunity to fundraise for the amazing Ability Bow and support those recovering from surgeries and gaining mobility which is all especially motivating."

Read more about Aleksandra and sponsor her now ►

Ayse Ozbal's Story 

This fantastic charity has really helped my Mum to improve her health and wellbeing. The gym has great staff and a wonderful community spirit. By running for Ability Bow I can give back to my Mum after her selfless support through the years. I know she'll be proud and cheering on the day."

Read more about Ayse and sponsor her now ►

Sarit's Story 

The support from the Ability Bow team last year for the marathon was amazing - as was the entire experience. Ability Bow provides a fantastic service to disabled people and those with long term health conditions within Tower Hamlets, so I wanted to contribute something back to the borough I work in."

Read more about Sarit and sponsor him now ►