Nell McAndrew refuses to rule out another London Marathon
Nell McAndrew the model, television presenter, and accomplished amateur athlete, has refused to rule out running in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, despite having successfully completed seven of them to date.
The 45 year old originally from Leeds in West Yorkshire, but now based in Teddington, ran this year’s London Marathon for Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Despite finding this year’s event a challenge she said the fact that she was raising vital funds for the charity got her through the run. As she explained: “A marathon is never going to be easy and I found this one particularly difficult as I struggled with injury and illness in the months prior to the event.
“However, knowing that I was raising funds and awareness of Caudwell Children, and a number of other charities, definitely helped me to get through it.
“I planned to run the first half steadily, to see how I felt, then at mile 18 I knew I was counting the miles down to get to the end.
“The crowds were overwhelming and the whole day was extremely emotional.”
Despite pushing herself through the pain barrier to finish in a respectable 3:15:08 she took little time to relax and unwind after the run. “I didn’t’ really stop and rest in the days after the marathon as I was just buzzing and so happy,” explained Nell. “I was so relieved, emotional and proud after the event that just seeing my children for a hug was enough.”
Nell, who is mother to a son Devon, aged 12, and daughter, Anya, aged 6, didn’t take long to get back into training. “I started running again just days after the marathon!” she exclaimed. “I really enjoyed beaming with pride for a few hours but then was glad to get back out for a run.
“Running gives me time to clear my head and relax and think about everything that I need to do, so I went back to take part in my local parkrun the following Saturday after the London Marathon, and I loved it.
“Then the following week I was back at my City Strongman session, a 45-minute intense set of exercises modelled on those carried out by strong men, to lift some weights.”
Despite having completed seven London Marathons Nell isn’t ruling out running in the event again. As she explained: “I had said that this might be my last marathon but I am considering running it again!
“The huge sense of achievement and pride is incredible, there really is nothing like it and I would definitely recommend anyone to push themselves and give it a go.
“Knowing that Caudwell Children use every penny they raise to support disabled children and their families is brilliant.
“This year, whilst I was running, I kept thinking that if by finishing the marathon I help just one family to get extra support, like a wheelchair for their child, it will be so worth it.”
Nell says that she was happy that her children got to see her run in the marathon. As she explained: “I was so glad that they got to see not just me, but thousands of other people crossing the finish line.
“The sight of seeing all those people pushing themselves to run 26.2 miles , raising lots of money to help others, is something that I hope they always remember.”
Nell ensures that her passion for running never encroaches into spending quality time with her family. “I squeeze my runs in around my children so I go when they’re at their activities, or when they’re at school,” she said. “But it’s not easy, I just try my best.”
Nell is delighted that amidst the varied workload that she has coming up she will get the chance to encourage people to run. As she concluded: “I never know what’s around the corner, I always just have to go with the flow.
“But what I’m really excited about is that I’m going to be working on some running events that will encourage people to get started, from couch to 5k.
“I’m hoping that this will just be the start of their running journey and that they may even go on to consider running a marathon in the future.
“Who knows, possibly for Caudwell Children!”
Caudwell Children has a limited number of charity places available for the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday 26th April.
You can find out more and register for a place here.