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Churchill colleagues gear up for the London Marathon

Ten fearless colleagues are now training hard after signing up to take part in this year’s London Marathon in aid of Oasis Community Learning (OCL) – one of the largest multi-academy trusts in England. 

We caught up with some of them, who are now beginning to hit their stride and aiming to raise as much money as possible for OCL’s Living Rooms project. The project offers a warm and welcoming space in every Oasis building where families can relax and enjoy a free meal. 

Education Sector Director Ruben Correia said: ‘Never having run more than 10k before, the marathon was always going to be a challenge, but I could not turn down the chance to do it on behalf of OCL after seeing the amazing work it does.  

‘And knowing the money raised goes to help people who genuinely need it will give me the strength to push through and complete the race.’ 

Commercial manager Lee Morgan echoes Ruben’s feelings about the race. ‘The focus, drive and commitment required to prepare for such a challenge is daunting,’ he said. ‘However, it is also motivating. 

‘And, course, this is a great opportunity to raise money for a much-needed cause, which we know will give back to so many families.’ 

Operations Director Graeme Jones is also delighted to be helping out while having the chance to boost his own fitness at the same time. He said: ‘Not only do I get a real opportunity to support others far less fortunate than I am but having a target to raise my fitness levels further than I ever have done is also a very real driver for me. 

 ‘The last few months have resulted in me building up to run 30 miles a week and I’ve got my longest distance up to half marathon levels, supported by strength training on a rowing machine on the days I’m not running.’ 

Everyone’s preparation for the race is different. Contract Administration Team Leader Carrie-Ann Kettle says her training schedule involves taking as many tips from as many people as possible and following the guide provided. 

‘I am now full on for 16 weeks of pure pain, but I am super excited to be part of something on this scale that unites hundreds of thousands of people,’ she said. 

Tracey Cheung, Amulet’s Head of HR, said: ‘I am trying to balance my training with a busy work schedule in Amulet. I’m running three times a week and I can’t stop eating!’ 

Proposal/Bid Content Manager Shelley Lucas is simply happy to finally have a place in the race. ‘After my 11th failed attempt of securing a ballot entry, it felt like fate when OCL offered us the opportunity to join their amazing team,’ she said. 

‘I am very aware of what a privilege good health and fitness is, so I am truly grateful to have a place – and with such an incredible charity. At a time where so many families are struggling to feed and keep their families warm, the work and support provided by Oasis is extra important.  

‘I am following the London Marathon beginners’ training plan, in addition to doing some research into run/walk methods and cold-water therapy to help reduce injuries and improve endurance. 

 ‘The thought of running still fills me with dread at times but it’s the feeling afterwards that makes it all worthwhile!’ 

The runners must raise an ambitious initial total of £2,000 each to secure their place in the marathon on April 23.  

If anyone would like to contribute, the links to their individual donation pages are: 

Find out more about OCL and Oasis.