H&F runners get set for the London Marathon

Sunday 23 April sees the return of The London Marathon.

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Runners at the start of the 2022 TCS London Marathon. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

This Sunday (23 April) sees the return of The London Marathon. And Hammersmith & Fulham will be amply represented by runners from our local athletics club, the Thames Valley Harriers (TVH).

The Harriers – based at the Linford Christie Stadium in White City – are the top athletics club in the South of England. Every year, a significant number of the club’s runners enter the London marathon.

This year, a total of 17 runners will be running for the club. Each has their own reason for running and their own story to tell. Below, five TVH runners explain why they’re running this year.

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From left to right – Richard Hooley, Marion Brydson, Geoff Williamson, Nick Michael and Lisa da Silva

Richard Hooley

Richard has been a local resident since 1983 and is a long-term member of TVH.

“I was a student in London back in 1981 at the inception of the London Marathon. I have always been in awe at its meteoritic success and that it has become one of the major marathons in which most runners aspire to compete.

“I joined TVH in 1985 and had a successful career competing in middle distance before moving to relays, 10ks and half marathons. I feel it is now or never, so luckily I gained a club place for this year.

“I have been training very hard and have moved to a new paradigm of fitness. I am very excited about Sunday and the rest of this running year!”

Marion Brydson

Marion has been a member of TVH for 10 years and is running her second marathon.

“I feel highly privileged to have been given a TVH London marathon place this year, but I can't run and not raise money for charity, so I am running for Cancer Research UK in memory of my friend Paul and other friends who have been affected by cancer.

“If anyone can contribute, that would be huge support.” You can sponsor Marion here.

Geoff Williamson

Geoff joined TVH more recently but has been an active member of the club.

“My marathon goal is to get below four hours. I've come late to running – I did my first ever parkrun at Wormwood Scrubs on 4 September 2021 (my birthday) and puffed around in 35 minutes.

“Since then, I've joined TVH and thanks to the coaching am now running the Wormwood Scrubs park run in around 22 minutes.”

Nick Michael

Nick is a long-term member of TVH and runs distances from 5k up to the marathon.

“I started running the day after watching the first London marathon 42 years ago. Fiftenn London marathons later, I am still going strong!

“I’ve been a member of TVH since 2003 and have run the park run next to the Linford Christie Stadium, on Wormwood Scrubs, since 2011.”

Lisa da Silva

Lisa is a long-term member of TVH and competes for TVH at regional and national level.

“I'm running the London Marathon on Sunday as it has always been a long-term goal of mine. 

“I've been running competitively since I was 10 years old and I am turning 40 this year. Yet it is only now that I feel ready to take on this amazing challenge! I am fortunate enough to have qualified with a Championship start and hope to better my debut marathon time of 3hr 2 mins which I clocked in Amsterdam last October.

“I'm really excited to see how my TVH teammates get on and wish all those running the best of luck.”

Get involved

The Thames Valley Harriers have developed a vibrant community of runners and caters for all ages and abilities.

In addition to providing training for adults, its Kids on Track scheme is a weekly session for children aged 8-14, enabling them to have fun while learning to run, jump and throw.

Led by experienced Thames Valley Harriers coaches, the children get to experiment, learn about training, and find out what activities they most enjoy.

It takes place every Saturday at the Linford Christie Stadium at 9am (ages 8-10) and 10.15am (ages 11-14). £6 per session.

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