It’s Virgin Money London Marathon week and our team is revving up for the 26.2mile run on Sunday.
Each runner has pledged to raise £2,000 for the Countryside Alliance Foundation so we hope you will all dig deep to support these rural warriors running for the countryside.
The team is made up of:
Thomas Eyles: London-based financial planner Tom (right) ran his most recent marathon – the Edinburgh – in 3hrs 23mins, so hopes to run London even faster. An ex-rugby-player and sailor when possible, he enjoys shooting and comes from “a very horsey family”. The 27-year-old is running to show his support for the continuation of country sports. Sponsor Thomas here.
Emma Larminie: Speech and language therapist Emma (left), works on the stroke ward of Clatterbridge Hospital on the Wirral. She hunts with the Flint and Denbigh and enjoys beating on a small shoot on her uncle’s farm. She already has a raft of events planned to help her raise at least £2,000 for the Alliance as she wants to support country sports and the country way of life. Sponsor Emma here
Eleanor Martin: VWH follower Eleanor (right) enjoys clay pigeon shooting, beating and has been involved in all aspects of running point-to-points. She has been an assistant hunt secretary and as a freelance groom hunted twice a week with the North Hereford last season – on 22 different horses! Now back in her home country of Oxfordshire she is working for her family’s woollen weaving business. She wants to increase knowledge of the importance of countryside activities. You can sponsor Eleanor here
Rachael Ward: Chartered surveyor and land agent Rachel (left) works for Fisher German, enjoys competing in dressage and hunts with the Quorn. She hopes to raise £2,000 for the Alliance Foundation and has completed a number of half-marathons in the past. Sponsor Rachael here
Sophie Dale: Book-keeper and keen baker Sophie (right) hopes to boost her sponsorship money by making cakes for all her friends’ big occasions, from baby showers to weddings. She lives on the Bucks/Oxon border with her nine-year-old son, a number of chickens and three dogs and enjoys going hunting. Sponsor Sophie here
Penny Middleton Burn: Keen runner Penny (pictured far left) owns and runs a busy food-led pub and has been part of the Crawley and Horsham hunting community all her life. You may remember her from the campaign against the Hunting Act as Penny campaigned outside Parliament dressed in little more than body paint – and earned us big publicity in the newspapers. Sponsor Penny here
Mark Simpson: Former Pony Club tetrathlete Mark Simpson (right) is returning to the sporting field, aged 47, as he needs a challenge! Not content with managing a campsite, tourist attraction and wedding venue in Devon he is now back in training and hopes to raise more than £5,000. He believes there is too much ignorance of wildlife management and that the Foundation’s school programmes are a good step forward in that regard. Sponsor Mark here
Phoebe Taylor: Cirencester graduate Phoebe (left) is the daughter of a hunt master and enjoys going out with the Bicester with Whaddon Chase, whose kennels adjoin her family’s farm. She point-to-points, plays lacrosse, and dreams of training a Grand National winner. She too hopes to cook her way to her fundraising target and describes the countryside as her passion. You can sponsor Phoebe here.