The 36th annual Virgin Money London Marathon will take place this Sunday, when the capital’s streets will be filled with approximately 38,000 runners. London’s biggest race is mostly made up of people raising money for charities, along with professional athletes.
London-based Amanda Ellis will be one of the runners tackling the 26.2 mile course on Sunday. She is running for a little-known charity INARA, the International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance, a Lebanon-based charity helping Syrian refugee children with life-saving medical treatment.
INARA is a charity very close to Ellis’s heart. As a parent herself she pictures how it “would feel if my child totally lost anything resembling a childhood. No basics, such as electricity and clean water, but also no school, no play and, most of all, no respite from the constant fear of being bombed.”
Daily influx of refugees
Lebanon has a population of 4.8 million and is currently struggling to cope with more than one million refugees flooding into the country, a number increasing daily. Charities such as INARA really make a difference.
Ellis’s determination, combined with daily images of refugee children flooding the media, has helped her get through a truly grueling training schedule. This is the first time she has ever attempted to run a marathon.
“I never thought I would – or could – run a marathon, but having a cause close to my heart to run for means that even if I have to crawl the last few miles, I will definitely cross that finish-line!” she said.
“Everything that people can do to raise money helps us,” said an INARA spokesperson. “The money goes directly towards Syrian refugee children who need urgent life-altering and life-saving medical treatment.
“We couldn’t do this without the generous donations we receive. Things like running the marathon are great ways to get people to donate, so we really are so grateful to Amanda for doing this incredible feat.”
Along with her 38,000 fellow runners, Ellis will have perhaps the best sight-seeing tour of London, starting in Greenwich and finishing in-between Green and St. James park.
You can find out more information about Amanda’s chosen charity, INARA at www.inara.org.
You can also find out more information about the London Marathon on their website www.virginmoneylondonmarathon.com, including the best spectator spots and how to track your friends who are running the 26.2 mile course this Sunday.