Celebrity runners and fundraisers on final leg of training for the London Marathon

Actor Lorna Fitzgerald joined Olympians Daley Thompson CBE and Snowy Brooks, Barnardo’s Vice President Baroness Floella Benjamin DBE OBE at an inspiring training session ahead of the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon.

The event at Battersea Park’s Millennium Arena, was held by Barnardo’s to thank those who are running for the charity, offer training and fundraising advice and give them a chance to meet the rest of Team Barnardo’s before the iconic race on April 26th.

Lorna, best known for her time on Eastenders as character Abi Branning, joined the rest of the team to be put through their paces. As well as getting essential running advice and tips from Olympians Daley and Snowy, the group also heard a motivational speech from Lady Benjamin.

Lorna said: “Taking part in the training session has made the marathon feel much more real. I know it’s going to be tough but the session has left me feeling really determined and motivated to do my best. It was also lovely to meet the rest of Team Barnardo’s who are all raising money for this amazing cause.”

Team Barnardo’s will also be joined on race day by Barnardo’s Ambassador comedian Tom Lucy. He said: “Taking on the London Marathon is such a challenge and I’m a bit nervous. But knowing I’m supporting a charity that makes such a difference to the lives of vulnerable children and adults will keep me going on the day.”

One of the other amazing runners to take part in the training day was Alison Colenso from Whitton who is running with her husband, David.

Alison said: “We have both worked in schools for around 18 years and I think it would be fair to say we see quite a mixed level of deprivation. Knowing the work that Barnardo’s does in this area with children in schools is the reason why we wanted to run the marathon for them. Fundraising for a charity which means so much to us makes all the training and aches and pains worthwhile.”

Lady Benjamin, Daley and Snowy were all impressed by the team during the training and praised them for taking on the challenge for Barnardo’s. 

Double Olympic gold medallist Daley said: “I was really impressed by all of the runners today and their determination. I wish every one of them the very best of luck for the big day and urge people to sponsor them.”

Former Barnardo’s boy Snowy, who represented Barbados in the 1972 Olympics in the decathlon, said: “This iconic race really pushes runners to their limit and taking part is a massive achievement. I’m proud of the runners, they took all the advice on board and I know they will do their best on race day.”

Actor and Barnardo’s Vice President Lady Benjamin, who has run 10 London Marathons for the children’s charity, added: “Every mile these runners conquer makes such a difference to vulnerable children and young people. This will be such an achievement – we will all be cheering you on and wish you all the very best for the big day so keep smiling.” 

With last year’s race raising over £290,000, the charity is hopeful that as many people as possible will dig deep and donate to help vulnerable children across the UK. 

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said: “We are really proud of all the runners taking part in the marathon this year to help raise funds for Barnardo’s. Running a marathon is no small feat and we know it takes months of training, preparation and dedication.

“We rely on the generosity of fantastic supporters like you so we can continue to provide vital services to vulnerable children and young people across the UK.”

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