London Marathon 2018: Re-live Team BDA’s inspirational stories one month on

London Marathon 2018: Re-live Team BDA’s inspirational stories one month on

After months of creative fundraising and consistent training, 11 dedicated British Dyslexia Association (BDA) runners successfully completed the London Marathon on Sunday 22 April 2018.

This is a particularly significant achievement as this year was confirmed the hottest on record, making it 26.2 miles in the 24C degree heat.

The BDA is incredibly grateful to our team of highly motivated individuals: Amy Lisle, Frances House, Dewi Meredith-Smith, Robbie Webb, Harry Madgwick, Jenny Wheatley, Iain Wheatley, Ben Walker, Sarah Breslin, John Martin and Matthew Jewson.

Together they have raised over 15K towards creating a more dyslexia-friendly society.

Team of superstars

Amy Lisle was inspired to take part by her personal experiences and challenges as a university student with dyslexia. She participated despite falling ill with tonsillitis before the race, demonstrating her grit and determination.

Frances House and Dewi Meredith-Smith completed the London Marathon the same way they undertook their training and fundraising: as a pair. In their case a double round of congratulations is due: the first for finishing the marathon and the second on their engagement.

At 18 years old, Robbie Webb is the youngest member of Team BDA 2018. Currently training to become a chef, he brings the same level of hard work and dedication to his running as he does to his career.

While the 24C heat made conditions almost unbearable on the day, this did not stop Harry Madgwick, who finished the race in 3:22:24, in the elite men’s starting category. As an English teacher, his ambition is to support dyslexic pupils to fulfil their limitless potential.

He was followed by Iain Wheatley and Matt Jewson, who were both awarded a place in the London Marathon ballot and decided to generously fundraise and run on behalf of the BDA.

This was Jenny Wheatley’s second marathon – she completed the Brighton Marathon in 2017. One of Jenny’s exceptionally creative fundraising ideas was to record and produce her own exercise DVD, which helped her smash her target. Running this year for the BDA, she believes passionately that dyslexics are not slow or silly or stupid, but that they simply have a different way of learning.

Ben Walker was already a skilled sportsman when he signed up to run the marathon for the BDA; playing hockey and taking part in other activities including running and wakeboarding. Graduating from university with a 2:1, he was inspired to raise money so more people can access the same resources as he did and successfully get through education with the help they need.

Sarah Breslin crossed the finish line smiling and kept up the good vibes and amazing energy throughout with her colourful disco inspired running wear and tutu. Putting the fun in fundraising, she reached her target by holding an 80’s inspired party earlier in March, which was well attended despite the snow.

John Martin joined team BDA with a few months to go, replacing another runner who had to drop out due to injury. Despite this, John was the first to reach his fundraising target. He was inspired to take part in this year’s race as a gesture of support for his son who has recently been diagnosed with dyslexia.

Beyond the Marathon

In the days following the race, Team BDA joined hundreds of runners across the country to run 3.7 miles and donate to charity in honour of Matt Campbell, who sadly died after collapsing during the marathon.

In addition to this, Jennifer Wheatley has entered a 10k cross country run for Pancreatic Cancer, while John Martin has registered for the Stroud Trails Half and will return for London Marathon 2019.

Inspired to join this incredible dyslexic-friendly community of runners? We are accepting applications for our remaining places in the Great North Run, taking place on 9th September 2018. Email to secure your place now.