Meningitis Now staff member Andy Hopkinson

Follow in Mikaela's fundraising footsteps with a virtual 10k

Andy Hopkinson | 1st May 2021

First, the bad news. The Vitality London 10,000 has now been postponed for 2021 and a new date has not yet been set. Sorry to those among you who had signed up to take part in this for us

Follow Mikaela's fundraising footsteps with virtual London 10,000

The iconic 10k race is always a fantastic opportunity to take in some of London’s most impressive sights, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Big Ben and Nelson's Column, and is a great distance for new and experienced runners alike.

Now, the good news: our current sign-ups can convert to a virtual version. And anyone else who wants to take part and support our work can still sign up for a virtual place through the Vitality London 10,000 website.

Entry is open until 4pm on Friday 28 May and costs £19. Individuals can raise as much as they like. To receive your runner number before the event, you need to register by Sunday 9 May. 

Enjoy the benefits

Our Fundraising Assistant Kat Hollywell said: “In 2020, 11,000 runners took on the virtual Vitality London 10,000 and this year they are encouraging even more people to sign up to enjoy the mental health benefits of physical exercise.

“The idea is that an individual can run 10k wherever and whenever they like between Saturday 29 May and Sunday 6 June and on completion receive a medal and a technical t-shirt worth £35.”

So, why not sign up today? You can take inspiration from our supporter Mikaela Spencer, who took on last year’s virtual Vitality London 10,000 for us and raised £660 towards our lifesaving and life-changing work.

May not have survived

Mikaela told us: “I ran this 10k race for my sister Tally, who contracted bacterial meningitis when she was just one year old.

“I have always had the desire to help others and wanted to contribute to a charity that mattered to me. If it wasn't for charities like Meningitis Now, my sister may not have survived or had the easy life she has. 

“I significantly remember waking up to several paramedics and my parents crying as they held her in their arms, although at the time I didn't understand the seriousness of this because I was only 5 years old. 

“I also remember her burning up a few days before and refusing to eat anything, which of course concerned my parents. Thankfully, Tally recovered and was only mildly affected in later life with scarring on her legs. She is beautiful inside and out and I'm so proud of her.”

Wanted to challenge herself

Mikaela, a 21-year-old Document Controller in the construction industry, from Wimbledon, had never run more than 6k before and really wanted to challenge herself.

“It was hard and I realised that a huge portion of running successfully is having a good mindset,” she said, “but the feeling on completing it was incredible.

“I was fortunate enough to have colleagues from work raising money for me, as well as family and friends, and I’m grateful to them all.

“I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys running and wants to make it have some sort of purpose. 

“And I will definitely do another 10km one day.”

It wasn’t just her sister’s experience that inspired Mikaela though.

She added: “I hadn't considered running for Meningitis Now until I started working in construction. Unfortunately, I do see a lot of men spitting on site, which infuriates me as I know you can carry bacterial meningitis in your throat and spread it this way. It is a poor, inconsiderate habit but most people do not realise the consequences. It reminded me of how deadly this disease is and in a way, inspired me to make a change!”

So, if you want to follow in Mikaela’s footsteps find out more and sign up here.