Shropshire woman to run London Marathon for charity
A 27-year-old woman from Bridgnorth, in Shropshire, is putting her mind and body on the line in an attempt to raise much needed funds for a national disabled children’s charity.
Jessica Beasley, 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.
Jessica decided to run for Caudwell Children after a friend recommended that she register for one of its charity places. As she explained: “I’ve tried to get a London Marathon place for the last six years but I’ve been unsuccessful in every ballot.
“My friend told me about Caudwell Children’s charity places and said they were a good cause to run for.
“I visited their website and when I found that they help disabled children to reach their full potential by providing them with specialist equipment, like powered wheelchairs, car seats, buggies and sports equipment, I knew that I had to have one of their places.”
Jessica’s 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.
The former Wolverhampton Grammar School pupil, who is a Business Development Manager at Tile Choice Limited, the family business, says that she was never sporty at school. As she explained: “Obviously, I had to do PE but I really suffered in the classes as I didn’t like sport at all.
“But I started cycling a number of years ago, which I really enjoyed, and this led to me getting into triathlons.”
The confidence that Jessica gained through cycling and running resulted in her completing the Copenhagen Ironman, an event that included a 2.3-mile swim, 111.8-mile cycle ride and 42.2-mile run.
Last year she completed the Chicago Marathon in a time of 4:00:23 and she’s determined to run the London Marathon in under four hours.
“That was the first marathon that I’d ever done and I’m not sure if I overachieved, so I’m not taking anything for granted,” she said: “But I feel good in training and I’m quietly confident that I can complete the run in sub four hours.”
In preparation for the event Jessica is running four or five times a week, completing a 14-mile circuit at weekends and a 10-mile circuit at other times.
Jessica is determined to smash her £2,500 fundraising target and has devised a number of sponsorship opportunities including a charity bootcamp, spinathon, cake sale, raffle and a sweepstake on her marathon time.
“The raffle is fantastic and I’ve had wonderful support from a number of businesses including Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, who’ve donated the first Prize,” exclaimed Jessica. “They’ve given me four tickets to the opening night of Billionaire Boy, by David Walliams, on September 23rd, 2020.
“The tickets also include seats in the Dress Circle, and access to the Churchill Private Booth for some complimentary treats before the show.”
Jessica, a graduate in Business Management and Marketing from the University of Worcester, says she has a number of anxieties ahead of the race, which takes place on Sunday 26th April, 2020. She said: “Having completed one marathon I’m now putting extra pressure on myself to beat my previous time and I’m continuing to push myself.
“I pulled a hamstring 18 months ago and whilst I’m over it now there is still a nagging doubt that I may injure it again.
“But I’ve learnt to do more recovery work now, and I’m doing more stretching ahead of my runs, but I’m still getting to know the sport and I’m learning from my mistakes.”
During the week Jessica runs at 5.00am and says it’s the perfect time for her. As she explained: “I like running at this time as I can get it done before work and then it sets me up for the day, although my partners not so keen when I get him up to join me.
“I have to be extremely disciplined as sometimes it’s difficult to be motivated. But then I remember who I’m running for and there is nothing more motivational than that.
“I can choose to go out and run but there are so many children who would love to do it but simply can’t, they are physically unable to.”
Kate McMahon, from Caudwell Children is urging the public to support Jessica’s lung busting efforts. She said: “The money that Jessica 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 Jessica by donating on her Just Giving page here.
Those who donate £5 will be given one entry into the raffle and will be issued with a unique raffle number. Each subsequent donation of £5 will secure a further raffle number.