Meet two of the London Marathon runners from our Nottingham and Head Office. Both Lee and Emma were on an amazing mission to raise money for their chosen charities. A massive “well done” to them!

Emma Graham, PA for the Heads of Corporate Legal Services, tells us her story about running, walking and limping for The National Autistic Society:

Emma at the London Marathon

Sunday was the greatest day ever! The build-up had been long, as I had broken my coccyx last March and could hardly walk. However, I had already applied for the marathon place, and when they confirmed I had a ballot place in September I realised I was going to have to get moving again. I hadn’t done any sport for 9 months.

I started going to ‘park runs’ in my local park, which are 5km races every Saturday morning, and I gradually built up so that I would be fit enough to start a proper marathon training plan in January. I got injured a lot, so the furthest I had run before Sunday was 17 miles.

I decided to run for the National Autistic Society because my daughter is going through the process of a diagnosis. I wanted to show her that anything was possible and that I was along for the journey with her, wherever that takes us.

Sunday came and it was so exciting. I arrived at the start at 8am and there were already thousands of people there. As I had estimated a slow finish time on my application I was in pen 9 (at the back), along with the man running carrying a tumble drier and the dinosaur.

The first 13 miles were amazing. I felt great and maintained a nice steady pace. The crowd was incredible. It was a wall of sound pretty much all along the 26 mile route, people with banners and flags. I felt something twinge in my thigh at 13 miles, ran until 16 miles and then realised I couldn’t run any more.

Luckily, I met a fellow injured person from my charity team and we power walked the final 10 miles.

As I was injured and clutching my leg, the crowd really got behind us. They chanted our names, offered us drinks and jelly babies and cheered us along the final miles to the end. We even got interviewed by Denise Lewis for the BBC and appeared live!

It was the most amazing day, and although I still can’t walk, I wouldn’t have changed any part of the experience.

Lee Bradbury, Lead Functional Developer in Finance, tells us about braving the course to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Children with Cancer UK:

Lee after the Marathon

The big day had arrived. After all my training I woke up at 6am Sunday morning and walked bleary-eyed to the kitchen to make my porridge – this was me trying to make sure I had enough energy to complete the race. As I gathered my running gear and got ready, I had a mix of nerves and excitement. As this was my first marathon ever, I really wasn’t sure what to expect.

I soaked up the atmosphere at the start and even managed to meet up with some old school friends that I hadn’t seen for 10 years. As I walked to my starting point, it really brought home how important events like this are to the charities. I was lucky to get a ballot place but had chosen to run for Macmillan & Children with Cancer UK. The main reason for running for these charities was the good work they do and having experienced this help when my Mum passed away from bowel cancer, I wanted to assist them to help other families in need.

10am came and the crowd started to move forwards. I crossed the line and started my watch. The cheers from the crowds took me by surprise, it was an amazing feeling to hear all those people cheering for the runners. Running past the Cutty Sark and towards Tower Bridge the noise and the buzz from the crowd continued to grow. I was loving the fancy dress runners, I passed a four man fire engine, a T-Rex, plenty of superheroes and even a man carrying a tumble dryer.

I reached the halfway mark at 2:02 and was greeted with the sight of my sister and nieces providing me with some much needed sugar in the form of wine gums. I felt I was running strong and continued to aim for my renewed target time. Unfortunately, at mile 15 I needed to stop to use the toilet (obviously I was drinking too much!). Whilst this only lost me a little time it also allowed my ankle to seize up. I had unfortunately twisted my ankle the Monday before and I worried it might cause me problems.

As I reached mile 23 I heard a cry of “Keep going Uncle Lee” and again saw my sister and nieces cheering me on. As I got closer to Big Ben I heard the shout of “Well Done Dad”. Seeing my fiancée and son, giving them a big hug and a kiss gave me a boost of energy which helped me to run the last mile. As I ran past Parliament with the crowds cheering I began to feel a real sense of achievement. I turned the final corner to be greeted by the grandstands and the finish line, I could not resist waving at the crowds.

I crossed the finish line and stopped my watch with a time of 4:56:12. I was happy to have finished under 5hrs with the injuries I had. I received my medal and met up with my family. Now the hard work really started – trying to walk back to Victoria Station!

Caroline Kyriazis
By Caroline Kyriazis,
Senior Digital Marketing Manager at HM Land Registry