Marathon training in lockdown

The Invictus Games Foundation has its largest ever team running in the 2020 Virgin London Marathon, postponed this year to October 4th. Jenni Anderson, Development Director at the Foundation, explains what makes this charity team so unique.

The Virgin London Marathon is an iconic challenge, one of the bucket-list events on most people’s list. Not only does the 26.2 miles test you physically and mentally, many runners will be thinking of others while they plod the pavements having raised thousands of pounds for charities – and running for those who can’t.

Of the 40,000 participants, this year you will find a team of 35 running in aid of the Invictus Games Foundation. In previous years, since 2018, we have supported five Wounded, Injured and Sick (WIS) military personnel each year to take part, challenging themselves after injury. We know that the biggest battle our WIS personnel face is getting back to the start line after suffering trauma, illness or career-ending injuries. Events like the London Marathon bring people together with a common goal, as well as replicating the camaraderie and support they would have had whilst in service.

This year we will have 10 WIS runners participating from the UK, Australia, Canada, USA and The Netherlands. All have served their country and are running the marathon to aid their recovery and inspire others. As one of the team explains:

“I have had a few bad years with my PTSD. Having the goal of the Marathon keeps me motivated and help me to improve my fitness; all while sharing the good work that is done by the Invictus Games Foundation.”

Joining the team also are a number of Invictus Games Foundation friends from the defence community and partners, including runners from Clifford Chance LLP, Citi and Superdry.

Kristjana Nicolls, a trainee Solicitor at Clifford Chance is running her first marathon in her hometown of London. Kristjana is no stranger to the marathon streets after running the Mini-Marathon when she was 12. She said:

“Running for the Invictus Games Foundation will make the huge (and very tiring) challenge so worthwhile. I have the utmost respect for servicemen and women, not least because of the personal accounts of conflict I have heard from friends in the armed forces. Running as part of the team will help to show our support for the sacrifices they have made and funds we raise will enable the Foundation to offer many more opportunities for recovery, like the Marathon, in the future.”

The team will have an opportunity to meet each other in advance of the race and share training stories with a reception hosted by Clifford Chance LLP to coincide with the London Marathon Expo at the Excel.

You can support the Invictus Games Foundation team and learn more about their individual reasons for running, please visit our Virgin Money Giving page.

We know that keeping up with the training will be tough this year, as although exercise is permitted, keeping up the motivation and training requires a lot of effort, and we are so grateful for all the hard work put in so far, and coming up ahead. For inspiration, last year’s runner, former Invictus Games competitor Sally Orange, recently completed a marathon whilst in lockdown running up and down a 100m stretch outside her home! Choosing to run on ‘Whynot’ Lane, Sally completed this physical (and mental) challenge, once again dressed as a piece of fruit…

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