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24 April 2019

Virgin Money London Marathon Preview: “I wouldn’t be living the life I am today if I didn’t have their backing and support” 

Racing Welfare will field a thirteen-strong team of runners this coming Sunday 28th April for the Virgin Money London Marathon, all of whom will pound the iconic 26.2 miles of tarmac around the streets of the capital in aid of the charity.

First up on the list is Darren Moore, for whom Racing Welfare is a very personal cause having received support from the charity to overcome his battle with alcoholism.   Darren completed the Three Peaks Challenge in September 2018 in aid of Racing Welfare and has now decided to give the London Marathon a go, saying:

I have a lot back in my life that I had lost and a lot of that is thanks to the fantastic work that Racing Welfare do. I wouldn’t be living the life I am today if I didn’t have their backing and support when I needed it.

He went on to add, “I’m also trying to raise awareness and show that there is a way out of addiction, and that anyone in the racing industry can go to Racing Welfare for help if they are struggling.”

Godolphin holds a strong hand this year with five team members coming from their corner, including Managing Director Hugh Anderson. Having initially pledged to raise £15,000, Team Godolphin have smashed that total with a current mark of £24,416.  Completing their team is Anna Ridges, Jonno Mills, David Walsh and Neil Pollard.  Hugh said:

Our aim is to raise as much money as we can for a charity that is close to Godolphin’s heart and one that is absolutely crucial to the racing industry.

Next up this year is Sophie Hellyer of the Racegoers Club.  Before beginning her marathon training the furthest Sophie had run was 5K, but she jumped at the chance to push herself in aid of Racing Welfare.  She commented, “I’m really looking forward to running the marathon, not only as a personal achievement but also as a way of giving something back and supporting those who work in the racing industry.”  Also connected to Racing Welfare through the Racegoers Club is Perth Racecourse’s Racing Manager, Matthew Taylor. Inspired by his father’s running accomplishments, Matthew said, “My father completed both the Vitality Big Half and London Marathon and he has inspired me to do the same. Please help me to aid a great cause by pledging your support.”

The London Marathon is an event that has always been on the bucket list for Nigel Kitching.  Nigel, 66, works for Mark Dwyer and is a keen runner, having previously completed both ultra-marathons and marathons.  He said,

Racing Welfare is such a great charity and I’ve seen the work that they have done to help so many people working in the industry.

Edinburgh University student Algy Stanley is this year’s youngest team member at 20yrs old.  He cites some of his fondest childhood memories as being from racing in Newmarket, saying, “I was born and live in Newmarket and have had a passion for racing my whole life. The marathon is a wonderful opportunity to give back to an industry which has given me so much pleasure”.

Racing TV presenter Niall Hannity is taking on the marathon for the second time in aid of Racing Welfare, commenting Running the London Marathon is challenging, both mentally and physically, but I hope plenty of people will support me and in turn support a charity which is close to my heart”.  A great patron of the charity in the North, Niall undertook commentary duties at last week’s ARC Middleham Open Day and was raring to go after completing his last long run before the event.

John Webb is Racing Manager for West Racing Partnership as well as being an avid horseracing fan.  He said,


Taking part in the London Marathon and representing Racing Welfare is my way of giving back to everyone working in the racing industry in recognition of all their hard work and commitment.

Completing Racing Welfare’s team this year is James White. James’s wife Emma is General Manager of Sedgefield Racecourse and he has been spurred on to run by her praise of the work that Racing Welfare does.  James took up a place following injury to another participant, saying When a team member was injured I offered to step in to run for this worthy cause”.

The team have a fundraising target of £30,500, a figure already surpassed by the current total which sits at £33,300 with many more pledged amounts expected upon completion.

Speaking about the contribution of the runners, Mark Loades, Racing Welfare’s Head of Fundraising, said,

A huge thank you to all 13 runners for dedicating their time and effort to raising money for Racing Welfare.  The London Marathon is a highlight in our calendar of fundraising challenges each year and we wish every single one of our team the very best of luck for what we hope will be a fantastic day.

Follow all of the runners’ progress on social media in the build up to Sunday and throughout the day by searching for #TeamRacingWelfare.


Algy Stanley – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/algy-stanley-SAVMLMBONDS3332019-164227

Darren Moore – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-display/showROFundraiserPage?userUrl=darren-moore-SAVMLMBONDS3332019-5971&pageUrl=2

Nigel Kitching – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/nigel-kitching-SAVMLMBONDS3332019-5972

John Webb – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/john-webb17

Sophie Hellyer – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sophiehellyer

James White – https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-white61

Matthew Taylor – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MatthewTaylor1992

Team Godolphin ( Anna Ridges, Jono Mills, Hugh Anderson and David Walsh) – https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/godolphin