Five brave supporters of country sports have signed up to run the Virgin Money London Marathon 2018 in aid of the Countryside Alliance Foundation. With only a few months to go until the annual event on 22nd April our team are pulling on their trainers and starting preparations for the 26.2 mile run. Our runners have set up their JustGiving pages – so we do hope you will all dig deep to support these brave runners.

The team is made up of:

Katie Bleekman (Sponsor Katie here)

1.Who are you, what is your background?

I’m Katie, I am a freelance equestrian groom from Wiltshire mainly working in eventing, working in the UK & travelling all over Europe with top competition horses . I come from a very horsey family in Devon with horses & the countryside being my life! I was brought up on the hunting field with our local pack, the Silverton hunt, going out every single Saturday with my sisters & Mum for as long as I can remember. I ran the marathon back in 2014, in my school days I ran alot of county level cross country and have always had a passion for running competitively. Having evented most of my life I am a very competitive person so love doing these races! I am also a qualified fitness instructor so fitness & competing is definitely in my blood.

2. What inspired you to want to run for the Alliance Foundation?

I wanted to run & help raise money for the charity. The work you do to support our hunts is essential & I want to raise peoples awareness of this to keep our traditions alive. Our local pack has been unfortunately followed by antis all year, first time in years, disrupting a small local pack putting the livelihood of our hunt staff at risk, they have used the CA to help them with legal issues this season & it is essential to keep supporting you so can you help support our local hunts & keep them doing their job. Without the CA help many hunts would be unable to support themselves in these increasingly difficult situations.

3. What are going to be your training preparation rituals in the lead up to the marathon?

Follow my running plan as best as I can, I am grooming in Portugal in March so will have to get runs in & plan ahead. With late finishes & early starts (both being dark!) I find sticking to the plan of that day is imperative, whether or not you feel like it in this cold! The only way to stick to your plan is to make yourself go out & run so having a daily plan is priority! Also eating loads of different pre run and post run meals so I can workout what keeps me running & helps me recover fast without getting sore.

4. If you were granted one superpower (mental or physical) to help you in the marathon what would it be and why?

Hmmmm superpower? Probably to be able to run the 26 miles without needing the loo! It takes too long and I want a good time…..plus the portaloos were gross from my past experience!

 

Jack Beauchamp (Sponsor Jack here)

1.Who you are, what is your background?

Jack Oliver Beauchamp. I’m 27 years old and originally from the SE London suburbs. Before recently moving to the city, I spent a few years living in British Columbia, Canada where I spent most of my free time mountain hiking / biking or skiing. I have always been a keen sportsman as well as a lover of the outdoors thanks to the endless walking tours my grandparents took me on during various holidays across the UK. I’m very much looking forward to the challenge of running the London Marathon and raising money for a fantastic foundation.

2. What inspired you to want to run for the Alliance?

Despite now living in the ‘big-smoke’, I am a huge advocate for the remedial benefits the natural environment can offer. The Countryside Alliance Foundation is a superb charity, not only as it offers such a breadth of people a chance to learn about the abundance of nature in our countryside but also harnesses it to help with positive recovery as well as the profound benefits associated with community activities.

3. What are going to be your training preparation rituals in the lead up to the marathon?

I will be mainly living on a diet of pasta, malt loaf and peanut butter (kidding). My little sister ran the marathon last year and so she has kindly offered me her training regime – and pink Nike bum bag. My ritual at the moment is to listen to podcasts while I run, wearing running tights and a woolly hat – hopefully I’ll shed the last two before the big day!

4. If you were granted one superpower (mental or physical) to help you in the marathon what would it be and why?

My superpower would be the ability to make myself really tall… So that I could see the finish line and get there a little quicker!

 

Lucius Peart 

1.Who you are, what is your background?

Lucius Matthew Thomas Peart.  A 53 year old father of 3 boys aged 24, 23 and 21 on their next birthdays. I’m clearly a lot younger in my head than my body tells me. Born in West London but have now living in Bermondsey. I spent all of my school life outside of London, always working on farms in the holidays. My final placement being a 16th century water powered flour mill in South West Wales where, apart from milling flour, I also looked after Tamworth pigs, ducks, sheep and a herd or irritable goats. It was looking after the goats, that I discovered I could run!

2. What inspired you to want to run for the Alliance?

Having raised money for Great Ormond St following my kidney transplant to one of my children, I really did see the benefits of charitable giving. Both the process of raising money and directly seeing the positive change it can have on people’s lives was hugely rewarding, so I am keen to do it again. The use of the countryside and its pursuits by the Foundation to help others is something I can understand.  How do most people feel after a beautiful walk in the countryside? I believe there must be healing benefits that the countryside can offer to others less fortunate than me. There is more to the Countryside Alliance than people in smart suits on horseback.  Additionally it’s an opportunity for friends and family to give back indirectly for the dinners, lifts and drinks over the years. A lot of people making a small sacrifice can make a big difference.

3. What are going to be your training preparation rituals in the lead up to the marathon?

There is already a lot of praying involved as we get closer and the smell of Deep Heat in the house is also getting stronger (if I sat on the tube, I’d always get a seat). In order to avoid the human traffic of London, there are many early morning starts and certainly no lazy weekend mornings in bed until at least the end of April.

4. If you were granted one superpower (mental or physical) to help you in the marathon what would it be and why?

The speed of sound so nobody would have to hear me sing as I run round (quickly)!

 

Ella McEwen (Sponsor Ella here)

1.Who you are, what is your background?

Ella McEwen. I am 24 years old and have lived in the countryside all my life, I have now moved to London and live in Clapham. During the winter months I venture home to hunt with the Heythrop Hunt and also since hanging up my boots in my eventing in career I have ventured out of retirement to attempt a few competitions this season.

2. What inspired you to want to run for the Alliance?

Having moved to London I realise the great benefits that the countryside can provide, with the help of The Countryside Alliance the charity can help to sustain and support the country way of life and sporting pursuits.

3. What are going to be your training preparation rituals in the lead up to the marathon?

I am running with a training plan and making sure to always run with my lucky socks!

4. If you were granted one superpower (mental or physical) to help you in the marathon what would it be and why?

To run like Mo Farah and finish the marathon!

Hugo Martini (Info to follow)