“My decision to run the 2019 London Marathon for Meningitis Now was a simple one. I had bacterial meningitis in 1998, when I was 25. I was seriously ill and spent two months in hospital. I was incredibly lucky as I made a full recovery, with no after-effects."
“The odd coincidence about my meningitis diagnosis was that my dad (former BBC news presenter Andrew Harvey) was the president of what was then the Meningitis Trust and later became Meningitis Now. So, it was an illness I'd been aware of for many years but of course none of my family ever expected that we would experience it directly."
“When I decided to take on the challenge of the London Marathon it obviously had to be for this wonderful charity who had always been so supportive to me and my family."
More highs than lows
“My marathon day was one of highs and lows! But definitely with more highs! I was extremely nervous, although training had gone really well and I had no injuries."
“The experience of running London really has to be undertaken to be appreciated. The sheer volume of participants and supporters is just incredible. And the enthusiasm of all those lining the route is never-ending. They keep you going with their cheering, high-fives and bowls of sweets!"
“I'm sure any runner would agree that one of the absolute highlights is seeing family members. Mine were waiting for me at mile 15 and again at mile 23, and although you worry about spotting them amongst the crowds, their faces shine out like loving beacons! Just wonderful."
Another great moment
“Another great moment came when I passed the Meningitis Now team. They were very loud and gave me the hugest boost!"
“So, I did it. I really, really struggled with sore legs but I knew I wouldn't give up. Especially after all the fundraising and the great friends and family who helped me reach my target."
“Meeting the other Meningitis Now runners at the post-race reception was another highlight. Everyone was so welcoming and as someone said to me, "If you want to experience how nice people are, go to a marathon"."
“I swore to my mum that I wouldn't do another, but now that two weeks have passed I'm seriously considering London 2020..."
“It was just THE most wonderful experience.”
Your turn next…
Want to experience it next year? The application process for our charity places in the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon is now officially open! The event takes place on Sunday 26 April, so get the date in your diary now. The registration fee is £100 and there’s a £2,000 fundraising pledge.
Event manager Kirsty Owen-Hayward said, “Our charity places are limited and the event is so popular that each year we receive many more applications than there are spaces available."
“We award people places on the strength of their applications, so we ask for detailed information on why you want to run for Meningitis Now and your plans to reach the fundraising target."
“If it’s for you we’d love to hear from you so please get in touch.”
Interested? Find out more and apply for a place on our Virgin Money London Marathon 2020 page.