A team of 22 fantastic dedicated worldwide runners - including participants competing in their first ever official marathon - were emphatically cheered on by our Ability Bow team at mile 17 for the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday 22 April 2018.
The magnificent marathon squad - including 5 overseas runners, with four from Beijing, China and one from California, USA - all completed the gruelling 26.2 mile course challenge within 7 hours for our service, with 34-year Dollis Hill-based James O’Connell leading the way in just 3 hours and 18 minutes.
Funds raised from the event - which saw more than 40,000 runners take part in the hottest marathon on record at 24.1 degrees Celsius - will all be invested within inner London’s only disability and long term health conditions rehabilitation gym, with around £40,000 expected to be generated in donations from the Ability Bow 2018 marathon team.
Our superb runners - who competed alongside some creative competitors for other causes wearing unique costumes, including those dressed as Paddington Bear, the Teletubbies and a pair of scissors - all reached the Ability Bow cheering point at mile 17 beside the Lord Nelson pub at the Isle of Dogs by 2.30pm via staggered starts; with many maintaining an average pace of 6 to 8 minutes per kilometre throughout the race.
George Heslop - who completed his first ever marathon of any kind within a stunning 4 hours and 20 minutes in honour of his father Nigel who experienced a life-threatening stroke - said: “The marathon was such an awesome but exhausting day and a fantastic effort by all - great work guys; who’s signing up for next year?”
Andy Sawyer - who says this year’s event is likely to be his ‘first and last ever marathon’ - said: “Thanks Ability Bow for all your support! I’m not going to pretend I enjoyed running for 6 hours and while I’m a bit disappointed with my time, I still had a fantastic day.
“Congratulations to all the runners! I did see a couple of Ability Bow vests while running, but you were all too speedy for me to catch and say hi - but great work everyone on a fantastic cause!”
A keen marathon runner - previously competing in a Tel-Aviv long distance event - Safiul Azam, who works at the Mile-End Co-op and who kindly provided and supported Ability Bow with various vouchers and healthy snacks for the recent Ability Bow Fit For Life Open Day - said: “Thanks to Ability Bow for all your support, as I’ve been very happy to run for my outstanding local charity and I was also really pleased to actually see and run alongside some of the Ability Bow runners during the London Marathon!”
Featuring various Ability Bow staff members, volunteers and gym users - as well as family and loved ones supporting their runners during the race - the traditional meeting point beside the Lord Nelson pub in Manchester Road also saw many runners stopping by for quick-fire pictures and videos on the day.
This included East-London based medical practitioners Doctor Sarit Patel and Doctor William Burbridge-James - the latter finishing second within the Ability Bow runner time sheets in just 4 hours and 12 minutes - with both hailing from New Cross and Stepney Green respectively.
Ability Bow Director and Founder, Victoria Kent, said: “We would like to say a huge congratulations to everyone who’s completed the 2018 London Marathon and to all involved in the event and on the day, including our wonderful gym members, volunteers, trustees and staff.
“Running the marathon is a truly wonderful achievement and the fantastic funds raised - which runners can continue to contribute to us via the usual channels including sending offline donations via cheques to our service and adding online donations to their Virgin Money Giving Page - will really help our gym members, who have been really excited about this event.
“Our gym members always count attending the gym as one of their highlights of their week and thanks to you, they will get the chance to improve their fitness and mobility and socialise with new found friends and gym instructors for days, months and hopefully years, to come.”
Sponsoring Our Runners
You can donate to our magnificent marathon runners and help our service on our London Marathon 2018 page>>
You can take a look at more of the London Marathon event pictures and videos on the day via our Facebook page now>>
The results we know so far for our magnificent marathon runners (which will be updated as/when any additional timings are confirmed) are:
James O'Connell: 3 hours 18 minutes
William Burbridge-James: 4 hours 12 minutes
George Heslop: 4 hours 20 minutes
Tommy Witham: 4 hours 26 minutes
Andrew Reed: 4 hours 29 minutes
Aleksandra Golubeva: 4 hours 40 minutes
Katherine Doubleday: 4 hours 42 minutes
Sean Stewart: 4 hours 46 minutes
Dean Kruger: 4 hours 52 minutes
Xingwei Wang: 4 hours 52 minutes
Oli Tatam: 4 hours 54 minutes
Xiaonan Zhang: 4 hours 56 minutes
Safiul Azam: 5 hours 4 minutes
Miren Davies: 5 hours 5 minutes
Zhaohui Tang: 5 hours 9 minutes
Sarit Patel: 5 hours 40 minutes
Jackie Golison: 5 hours 51 minutes
Keri O'Riordan: 5 hours 56 minutes
Andy Sawyer: 6 hours 4 minutes
Sabrina Poinsamy: 6 hours 10 minutes
Ayse Ozbal: 6 hours 32 minutes
Nancy Pearce: 6 hours 32 minutes
Yuzhou Liu: 7 hours 11 minutes
Thanks to everyone for your support!