Hereford woman snaps up London Marathon place
A 32-year-old woman from Hereford, is putting her mind and body on the line in an attempt to raise much needed funds for a national disabled children’s charity.
Theadora Barnes, aims to complete the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, in aid of Caudwell Children, the Staffordshire based charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Her run will be part of Caudwell Children’s #Team20 celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the charity’s foundation.
Throughout 2020 Caudwell Children is encouraging people to engage with the charity in a number of ways, like taking part in a fundraising event, volunteering for the charity, or raising awareness of the charity’s services, in order to join their #Team20.
Theadora decided to run for Caudwell Children after coming across the charity’s website when she was searching for marathon charity places, having been unsuccessful in the official London Marathon ballot. As she explained: “After I found that they had charity places available I took the time to study their website to find out what they do and I was amazed by the support they give to disabled children and young people.
“They help them to reach their full potential by providing them with specialist equipment, like powered wheelchairs, car seats, buggies and sports equipment, and this inspired me to apply for one of their places.
“Their events team were so helpful, responding really quickly to my enquiry, so I’m extremely pleased to be running for them.”
Theadora is quietly confident that she will complete the event, which will take place on Sunday 26th April, 2020, but says she is taking nothing for granted. As she explained: “I’m hoping my active background will help me get over the line as I was quite sporty at school.
“I did a lot of running and hiking and I was also quite outdoorsy, regularly horse riding.
“I also ran a lot at when I was at Exeter University, where I studied geography, and I’ve always wanted to do a marathon, particularly London.”
Theadora, originally from Yeovil, in Somerset, moved to Hereford in 2018 to be closer to her partner. Having settled in the town she decided that she needed to do more exercise.
“After leaving University my running went by the way side,” bemoaned Theadora. “Before moving to Hereford I spent some time in Gloucester and I joined the Newent Runners Club, near the city.
“I still run with them but only occasionally, because of the distance, so I also joined a 0-5k group to get myself back in shape.”
Theadora has never run a marathon before but she has completed five half marathons, including Swansea and Cardiff, which has given her the confidence to attempt the London Marathon.
Theadora is currently running three times a week, completing 20 mile runs at the weekend and five and seven mile runs at other times.
“I also try and get in a swimming session each week and I will be building my runs up to 24 miles,” said Theadora. “I’ll then taper off my running two or three weeks before the run to ensure that my muscles are at peak strength for the event.”
Theadora does have some anxieties ahead of the run. She said: “I’ve never completed a marathon before so I’m entering new territory, which is a little unnerving.
“I’m also not a very good at running in the heat and the temperature at a couple of marathons over the last few years has been well above the average for the time of year.”
Theadora intends to work within the local community to boost her fundraising and ensure that she smashes her £2,500 target.
“I’m going to hold a number of bingo evenings and coffee mornings,” she enthused. “I’ll also organise cake sales, bag packs at my local supermarkets, a jumble sale and an Easter egg raffle.
“I’ll also approach local companies for donations, I’m really excited and I can’t wait to get started!”
Kate McMahon, from Caudwell Children is urging the public to support Theadora’s sinew sapping efforts. She said: “The money that she raises will also help Caudwell Children to provide funding for a number of therapies and treatments, together with short break activity days and in hospital and in home support.
“Our services are not available through statutory measures so it’s vital that the public support our fundraising efforts in order that we continue to fill the gap in provision for disabled children.”
You can support Theadora through her Just Giving page here.