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TCAF marathon team completes the challenge

Six runners raising funds for The Countryside Alliance Foundation (TCAF) completed the TCS London Marathon on Sunday, 2nd October. Ably led by experienced marathon runner Charles Jardine, Director of the charity's Fishing for Schools programme, the team is hoping to raise in the region of £20,000 for their efforts.

World renowned fly fisherman, Charles, explained how the money raised will make a real difference to people's lives: "The funds raised through the runner's efforts will ensure that countless children are helped and offered a pastime for life through the charity's Fishing for Schools project, whilst a great deal of care can be given to those overcoming cancer through the Castaway initiative."

The entire team of runners is incredibly grateful to all those who donated to their fundraising pages and supported them throughout their training and on the big day. The streets were lined with thousands of people but every one of the TCAF team was spurred on by the sight of family and friends in amongst the crowd, offering them inspiration and motivation to complete the challenge.

Charles went on to praise those who took part as well as those who donated to the cause: "To understand doing a marathon, you must also understand sacrifice. Giving up hours upon countless hours to trudge through training in all weathers, terrains, and scenarios, as well as the effort required to fundraise at the same time. On behalf of the charity, I would like to thank all of those who were part of the team and also those who supported them in any way, from fundraising to cheering them across the finish line – it really was a team effort."

As well as Charles, also running on behalf of TCAF were primary school teacher Rebecca Mountain, Perdie Reid who is the UK Public Relations Manager for Harkila, Tony Stone, director of Emmett & Stone Country Sports and two members of the Countryside Alliance's Campaign for Hunting team - Eleasha Sallis and Polly Portwin. Lucinda White was supposed to be part of this year's team but she sustained an unfortunate injury in training which means her entry has been deferred to 2023.

Four of the marathon runners were taking part in their first – and some say their last – marathon, including Rebecca who overcame a broken wrist sustained in a fall out training a few weeks ago: "Wow, what an experience!" she said afterwards. "Being my first marathon, the nerves were running high but it turns out there was no need for any nerves. I had the best time. The people, the runners and the route were amazing. It is safe to say I couldn't have done it without the sweets and drinks the crowd were handing out. I look forward to running half marathons and 10km runs in the near future and maybe when I have forgotten about the DOMS [Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness] and pain the next day I may attempt another marathon in my life!"

Perdie, who was also taking on her first ever long-distance run revealed: "The London Marathon was singularly the most physically and mentally challenging thing I have ever done, but it was also the most rewarding and incredible day full of inspiring people, making a difference."

Eleasha Sallis, the Alliance's Campaign for Hunting assistant reflected on her experience: "Doing the marathon was the challenge I didn't think I wanted or needed. The reality was immensely rewarding, humbling, emotional and gratifying. From learning to jog, tackling a 10km race, to sharing and seeing extraordinary people achieve 26 miles in London, I am grateful to have had the opportunity."

Donations to the runners' fundraising pages are still being accepted. Please visit the marathon hub to donate.

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