Celebrating our YMCA DownsLink Group Brighton Marathon runners

Carl running Brighton Marathon

On Sunday 12th September, runners from across the country descended on Brighton & Hove for the 2021 Brighton Marathon. Four runners, Carl, Clare, Alex and Laura formed team YMCA DownsLink Group. They did an incredible job and have so far raised over £1,100 for our projects and services.

Carl, a history teacher, travelled from Ipswich to run the marathon. Here he shares his experience of running the marathon and why he chose to raise money for our charity.

I saw taking part in the Brighton Marathon as a great way to give myself a new challenge, but also to inspire the pupils that I teach. Running to raise money for the YMCA DownsLink Group gave me an added incentive; pushing myself to help others. I teach 11-18 year olds and I felt that I start young people on their journey into adult life, but some struggle once they leave education and the YMCA DownsLink Group are there to give them a helping hand.

If I am honest, the last few miles were a real struggle, but every time someone sang “YMCA” at me it gave me a boost and kept me going. Crossing that finish line, albeit 500 metres further than it should be, I had such a feel of pride, achievement and self-belief. It was a long day, having left my house at 5.30am that morning to drive the 130 miles, and drive home afterwards! I do feel that I have unfinished business with the course, not having completed it in a time I wanted, so I will be back!”

Clare works at YMCA DownsLink Group and here she shares why she took part in the marathon.

“I have seen the incredible difference that YMCA DownsLink Group makes to homeless young people and wanted to give myself a challenge to help to fund this work.

I absolutely loved the day of the marathon. The atmosphere was amazing and having my YMCA colleagues cheering me on as I ran was such a great help. Due to Covid, the start was a runners only area so I really appreciated meeting up with another YMCA runner while we waited for our start. I also came across another YMCA fundraiser on the last few miles and we pushed each other to get across the finish line which was definitely needed!”

If you would like to support the work we do and congratulate any of our runners on successfully completing the marathon, you can donate to their fundraising pages here: Clare, Carl, Alex, Laura 

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YMCA enables people to develop their full potential in mind, body and spirit. Inspired by and faithful to our Christian values, we create supportive, inclusive and energising communities, where young people can truly belong, contribute and thrive.

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