Five Rockinghorse fundraisers took part in the iconic London Marathon on Sunday 23 April, and despite the rainy weather, a great time was had by all.
This year’s event returned to its normal April date after a few years of disruption due to COVID, and despite the day being rainy and damp, over 48,000 people crossed the finish line in this world-famous event.
And five of those people were kind enough to run in support of Rockinghorse, so far raising over £8,000.
One of these runners was Rose Flytzani, who chose to support us after the experience she had when her first child was born.
Rose said, “My oldest son was born prematurely and spent his first two weeks in the Trevor Mann unit. He received such wonderful care from all the NHS staff which partly wouldn’t be possible if Rockinghorse didn’t do all of the wonderful fundraising they do for the hospital and supported it in the amazing way that they do.”
After the race, Rose was tired but exhilarated, saying, “Taking part in the London Marathon was such an incredible experience! Just like everyone says the crowds really are amazing, the music, it definitely helps keeping you moving!
“It’s such an iconic event to take part in, the training in the winter wasn’t as much fun though! But I’m very pleased I took part and raised over £2,000 for the amazing Rockinghorse Charity. I highly recommend doing it to anyone considering!”
Rob Hollingum was another brave runner who was lucky enough to get a place in the marathon through the general ballot but chose to support Rockinghorse to inspire him through his training and to give something back to those that need it most.
He said, “For me, it was an easy decision to choose Rockinghorse as my charity for the London marathon. The support I received from Emma and her team throughout my training and on the day, itself was second to none. The whole day was amazing, it’s an experience I won’t forget in a hurry. So, if anyone needs a challenge and wants to raise some money for a fantastic charity, I can’t recommend it enough. Trust me, you won’t regret it.”
One of the runners took part despite carrying an injury. Ellen Groves, fell and injured her ankle during her training and was told she couldn’t run for 6-8 weeks.
Despite this, she didn’t want to miss out. She said, “I decided to just give it my best shot as I had already raised a great amount for Rockinghorse – my goal changed, and I just wanted to finish.
“Every single step was painful but that is nothing compared to what the children supported by Rockinghorse go through each day and that is what kept me going to finish. My main aim was always to complete the London marathon for this incredible charity and raise as much money as I could, but to be able to show my daughter that she can absolutely achieve anything she puts her mind to will mean more than anyone will ever know.”
And let’s also spare a thought to long-term Rockinghorse supporter Andy Fountain who decided to really spread the word about Rockinghorse by running in his hand-made Rocky outfit!
Emma Cunliffe, Supporter Engagement Manager at Rockinghorse, went along to the event to support all the charity’s runners. She said: “London Marathon 2023 was a bit of a soggy one, but the rain didn’t dampen the incredible atmosphere on Sunday.
“I’m so proud of Rose, Andy, Mark, Ellen and Rob for all the hard work they’ve put into their training and fundraising in the run up to the big day. It was great to see them on the route and give them some very well-earned cheers as they went past!’
So far, Team Rockinghorse have raised over £8,000 to help sick babies and children across Sussex, and that total just keeps going up!
If you feel inspired to do the London Marathon in 2024, make sure you enter the free ballot before 9pm on Friday 28 April on the London Marathon website.
We have opened applications to run for Rockinghorse, and you can apply on our London Marathon 2024 page here.