A message to our #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2024 runners from our Director, Charlotte Carson:
“Wow everyone, congratulations and well done to you all. You smashed it. Thank you so, so much for your inspirational commitment today. Huge well done and forever thank yous from all of us at LOOK.“
The wet and chilly start to the day didn’t hold back the enthusiasm of two of our #TeamLOOK runners, Emma and Adam, who were both in the same start wave. Emma ran her first London Marathon for LOOK in October and was back seven months later (with Seville Marathon in between).
“I saw a tweet from LOOK asking for runners. Seemed like a good challenge for a great cause, so I signed up. From non-runner to three time marathon finisher in one year! My advice is: stick to a training plan, and share your journey with friends and family so they get behind the fundraising.”
[If you are interested in running for London Marathon 2024 for LOOK please fill in this Expression of Interest form. We’d love to hear from you!]
Adam is an experienced longer distance runner and is also a Guide Runner (click here to read about the Guide Running taster session he ran for us in Hereford).
We are hoping to recruit more visually impaired runners to join our #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2024 team. If you are a keen runner and are interested in training to be a Guide Runner, please drop us a line at email@example.com
Our two youngest runners, both called Joe (Joseff and Joseph) are in their early twenties and are childhood friends. We are very proud of them taking on the marathon challenge as they both have a lot on their plate – one in his final year of Law at Bangor University and the other in the Royal Navy. Anyone over the age of 18 years is eligible to run the London Marathon, and it would be fantastic if Joe and Joe inspired more of our LOOK Mentors to sign up to join #TeamLOOK 2024.
It is truly wonderful to welcome back some dedicated runners and supporters who have run the London Marathon for LOOK many times, raising thousands of pounds of vital funds. Here Charlotte is chatting with Tyrone, who has run London Marathon for LOOK a staggering 18 times!
We often say that LOOK is a small, but mighty charity, and if you want evidence of this, you should have heard Mentor Support Officer, Elin, and her PA Emma belting out their support just before Tower Bridge! Larger organisations may have had lines of banners and a big gaggle of people, but there was no missing our bright yellow LOOK banner, yellow LOOK balloons, and Elin and Emma shouting themselves hoarse. Well done Emma and Elin.
A hug from our Director, Charlotte, for her nephew Joe, who ran his first marathon to show his support for the charity founded by his grandparents after Charlotte began losing her sight at the age of seven. A big thank you to Charlotte’s older brother Jeremy Bowen, who you might recognise from BBC News for sending this great good luck message to the runners.
Not all the runners were able to join us at Horse Guards parade, but we really want to thank each one for their incredible dedication to their training and fundraising, and of course their commitment throughout the London Marathon course. A special shout out to our LOOK Mentor, Kombo, and his Guide Runner, Warwick. Mentoring is our flagship project at LOOK and we speak for the whole Mentoring team and his fellow volunteer LOOK Mentors when we say well done, and we hope you are super proud of yourself! We also hope you will inspire other LOOK Mentors to give it a go next year…
Smiles all round from Charlotte and Tyrone – what an absolute star, committing over and over and over again to take on the training, fundraising, and pounding 26 miles through the streets of London, all to help visually impaired young people to thrive. Thank you Tyrone, and also to Pesh and Lizanne have also run London Marathon for LOOK many times and we are so incredibly grateful to them. Pesh, pictured below, has run London Marathon for LOOK fourteen times consecutively. Incredible!
This year we had a lot of runners who are new to LOOK, partly thanks to the coverage of #TeamLOOK by BBC Hereford & Worcester.
We have really enjoyed connecting with the Malvern Buzzards, just down the road from our HQ in Hereford. Here are Marc, Adam, and Bart with their medals – and still smiling! Special thanks to Marc for livening up our Instagram in the lead up to the marathon. It’s been great to have his energy on our #TeamLOOK this year. Well done to our favourite Buzzards, and we hope to see more of you.
Another new runner was James, who was supported after the race by his very lovely group of friends – some of whom are runners and we’d love to have them join #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2024 (James’ gang, if you’re reading this… here’s the Expression of Interest form!!). They’re as smiley in real life as they are in this photo. What stars! They’d even brought a Mimosa (one of James’ favourite tipples) in a plastic horn. James already has his next challenge for LOOK lined up – he’s running Chicago Marathon (as part of his quest to run all of the Six Abbott World Majors). James was born blind in one eye and he has partial sight in the other eye.
It is always great to meet family and friends of our runners. Adele is a primary school teacher and and this was not only her first time on #TeamLOOK but also her first marathon. She had a genius idea to get her whole school behind her fundraising, doing a mass sponsored jumping jacks session! As we are a charity that supports children and young people we love initiatives like this. Adele’s family were with us Horse Guard’s Parade to celebrate her huge achievement. Thank you Adele for running for LOOK!
A big thank you to Jo who has been supporting the marathoners this year, organised the welcome party at Horse Guards Parade, and arranged goody bags for everyone and generally made everyone feel valued and cared for.
Thanks to Jo for travelling all the way down from north Wales, and to the rest of the team – Jane and her husband Neil from Exeter, Brigid from Cardiff (our photographer for the day – thanks for all the great photos and videos), Elin and Emma from Cambridge, and Charlotte and Becky from Hereford. The LOOK staff team work in different locations around England and Wales, so it’s a real treat to have days like this when we can get together in person.
It was a treat to have our staff member and LOOK Mentor, Andrea, back with us at Horse Guards Parade. She is currently on maternity leave after the birth of her first baby earlier this year. She and her partner travelled from Wales, with their time baby so Andrea could offer free post-marathon leg massages to the runners. While Andrea worked her magic on sore legs, the LOOK staff team enjoyed cuddles with baby James.
Andrea was on our recent panel about VI parenting. Click here to read some of the highlights and top tips from visually impaired parents like Andrea, and if you are registered blind/visually impaired and are thinking about becoming a parent, do contact Jane, our Parent Support Officer firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about the services we offer).
What an incredible day! Thank you to all involved, and we can’t wait to return next year.
Thinking about joining #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2024?
If you would like to be part of the action next year, please fill in an Expression of Interest form here. All the runners tell us it is an incredible experience…. Think about it, and contact us if you think you’re up for the challenge! We’d love to hear from you.
Send a message to our #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2023 finishers
If you have read this and are impressed by the effort made by our #TeamLOOK, could you consider making a donation to LOOK? www.justgiving.com/look/donate (there is a comment section where you can send a message to the marathoners, if you wish).
No amount is too small, and all donations are hugely appreciated by our small but mighty charity. Not everyone can run a marathon, but you can do your bit to help visually impaired young people to thrive by clicking here.
Thank you video reel which opens with the LOOK logo in yellow on a blue background, then ‘Thank you to all #TeamLOOK London Marathon 2023 runners and their supporters’ and a changing cut out and collage of photos. At the end there is the logo again, with our strapline ‘Supporting visually impaired young people to thrive’ and the website www.look-uk.org