‘You really saw the best in people’ – teacher reflects on ‘fantastic atmosphere’ of London Marathon
“There was a real sense of people pulling together from all over the world – you really saw the best in people.”
A teacher who won a Golden Bond Place for the London Marathon with St Catherine’s has raised an incredible £2,600 after completing the gruelling 26-mile run.
Elliot Costas-Walker, a Year 4 teacher at Cop Lane CofE Primary School in Penwortham, has now vowed to take part in the hospice’s 10-mile Moonlight and Memories Walk on 1st July and the Great North Run half marathon on 10th September to raise further much-needed funds for the charity.
He said: “It was a fantastic atmosphere, it was just brilliant. People were running for lots of different charities and it was lovely to see and amazing to be a part of.
“The marathon itself was great; it was pretty tough from about mile 19 to 22 because it was really hot, but the crowds just lift your spirits and keep you going.
“Throughout the whole course all I could hear was people cheering, it was so loud. It was exhilarating.
“When I hit the home-straight on The Mall leading up to Buckingham Palace, it just felt tears fill my eyes – it was an emotional rush!
“There were thousands of people cheering and waving Union Jacks. It was quite surreal crossing the finish line, I was just speechless. It was an incredible experience.”
Elliot, from Walton-le-Dale, has helped drive support for St Catherine’s following his own personal experience, and after working with parents and children who have also witnessed the specialised care of the charity.
He was just five when he first visited the hospice, where his godfather Russ Fielding was being cared for. He died on his 40th birthday and Elliot wanted to run in honour of him.
“People are shocked when they learn that just 23 per cent of the hospice’s £5.2m annual running cost comes from the NHS, and that £3.5m has to be generated through fundraising every single year,” he explained.
“Everyone knows what a fantastic charity it is, and for St Catherine’s to be sustainable and continue to provide its fantastic care and support in the future, people need to keep getting behind the cause and do their bit.
“It’s good for the children at school to be aware of the hospice and the importance of supporting a local, worthy cause, and I know how much the funds raised will benefit local people, so that’s a massive motivation for me.”
Elliot has put his name down for next year’s London Marathon, and in the meantime is getting involved in the Great North Run and the Moonlight and Memories Walk with St Catherine’s.
- To enquire about a place with St Catherine’s for the Great North Run, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 324540.
- To sign up for this year’s Moonlight and Memories Walk, please click here.
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