Running the London Marathon in 2020

George completing the Marathon

After a gap in training during lockdown, we’re proud of our Digital Fundraising Officer, George McCann, who ran the Virgin Money London Marathon on his own in the rain!

On Sunday 4 October, I completed the virtual Virgin Money London Marathon. There were no crowds to cheer me on, no streams of buddying runners to help me reach the invisible finish line, just my own determination to finally complete the 26.2 miles, in the pouring rain after months of training – and, well, no official race.

I signed up to take part in the London Marathon back in October 2019, giving me what I initially thought was six months to get fit and train for the big day. Multiple 10Ks and two half-marathons later, I felt ready to take on the race, but we then entered a national lockdown and my training came to a halt. It wasn’t until the summer that the 40th race was confirmed to go ahead virtually, but I couldn’t say no – I wanted to be part of this historic marathon and run for my nan and World Cancer Research Fund. With the support of my two friends running alongside me, pushing me to finish, we managed to complete the race in a fairly impressive 4 hours and 47 minutes.

George running the marathon

Why run the London Marathon for WCRF?

Back in 2009, my nan was diagnosed with throat cancer (a surprisingly common cancer in the UK). She is fortunate to have survived and has been in remission ever since. However, others aren’t so lucky – around 450 people die every day from cancer in the UK. That is why I am proud to work at, fundraise and run for WCRF – one of the world’s leading cancer prevention charities.

During her treatment, my nan did her best to maintain a healthy lifestyle – eating well and staying active when she could. But I know that cancer treatment can have many, often unexpected side-effects such as loss of appetite and fatigue, which can make eating healthily and keeping active even harder than usual. I am so grateful that I was able to run the virtual London Marathon and raise money for WCRF – our cancer prevention and survival research not only empowers people to lower their risk of cancer but also helps people living with and beyond cancer.

It was important for me to compete in the marathon this year as so many events have been cancelled resulting in a loss of donations to charities including ours. Your support means everything to our cause, and we hope that your donations can help us to continue our vital cancer prevention and survival research, so fewer people have to hear the words ‘you have cancer’.

George completing the marathon