On Sunday April 10th, ten brave INTO staff negotiated the hilly
climbs, packed promenade and unseasonably hot weather of this
year's Brighton Marathon to raise more than £14,000 for INTO
Giving's Zambia project - the building of a school for orphans and
vulnerable children in Lusaka...
Debbie Clark, Martin Darling, Robert Graham, Anna Rushbrook,
Chris Lewis, Heather Wray, Laura Graham, Peter Straghan and Nicola
Burness-Smith had all undertaken hours and hours of training and
organized a variety of fundraising activities, all the while
managing to sustain their hectic work schedules.
Adrenalin pumping, they took their positions at the starting
line in Preston Park on Sunday morning, amid a sea of 8,000
runners. The big day had finally arrived and 26.2 miles
stretched ahead of them - and as the day wore on those miles seemed
to stretch further and further.
To help them along, throngs of supporters lined the route,
cheering relentlessly and handing out tins of jelly babies. Others
had set up showers to cool the runners down or simply dragged their
garden hoses to the roadside. Music reverberated through the city
as thousands of feet thumped to its steady rhythm and volunteers
handed out never-ending supplies of water.
The incredible atmosphere certainly helped to overcome the first
11 hilly miles, but as the hours wore on the runners had to dig
deep for the energy and determination to keep going. However,
despite a few minor injuries, all 10 INTO runners ran brilliantly
and completed the marathon, a first for many of them.
Chris Lewis from INTO Manchester pulled off a fantastic 4h 15
min time, declaring at the finish line, "Fantastic atmosphere,
great weather, amazing feeling... but never again!"
He was closely followed by Peter Straghan in 4h 23 minutes and
Debbie Clark, still on antibiotics, who finished in less than 5
"As hard as the marathon was, I can look back on it now and say
it was a brilliant day," said Sidrah Khaliq from INTO Brighton
Admissions. "I mean I don't think I will ever likely do another
one, but I am very glad that I can tick it off the list. And having
raised money for such an amazing cause really was the icing on the
The team has managed to raise over £6,500 so far (which will be
matched by Andrew Colin), and another £1,000 is expected from
GiftAid, bringing the standing total to £14,000 - all of which
goes to the Lusaka school. They are still collecting and if you
would like to support, please go to http://www.justgiving.com/intogiving
and type in any of the runners' names to donate to their site, or
make a direct donation to INTO Giving.
On behalf of the whole company, INTO This Week would like to
thank the runners for their huge effort. In a mark of their
fantastic spirit the runners are already thinking about future
fundraising activities. "Upon reflection, now the pains are
subsiding, I really enjoyed the marathon... next fundraising event,
John O'Groats to Land's End by bicycle!" said Debbie Clark from
Food for thought... If you have any plans for INTO Giving, or
would like to put your name down for next year's Brighton Marathon,