KBS CORPORATE FINANCE EXECUTIVE SMASHES CHARITY FUND-RAISING TARGET
Annie Pritchard, KBS Corporate Finance Executive, has smashed her charity target in completing her London Marathon debut.
Annie Pritchard, KBS Corporate Finance Executive, has smashed her charity target in completing a London Marathon debut she described as a “truly amazing” experience.
Raising funds for the DPJ Foundation, a mental health charity for the agricultural sector in her native North Wales, Annie had originally hoped supporters’ donations would reach her goal of £2,000.
But as she made her way to the start line for the gruelling 26.2-mile test at one of the world’s most famous annual sporting events, Annie already knew the charity target had been reached – and donations were continuing to flood in.
“I’m proud to have raised over £3,200,” said Annie, who was running a marathon for the first time. “In the middle of a cost-of-living crisis, it truly shows I chose a charity close to many people’s hearts.
“I have made a difference and I couldn’t have done it without the support of all who donated, and I will forever be grateful. I know the charity appreciate it so much.”
The DPJ Foundation was founded in 2016 by Emma Picton-Jones whose husband, Daniel, had taken his own life due to the financial pressures associated with farming. Working with leading organisations in agriculture, the charity supports those experiencing mental health difficulties.
Support was also in strong supply on the streets of England’s capital as Annie and 50,000 other runners tackled the long-distance challenge on Sunday April 23rd.
“Wow, what an experience,” reflected Annie. “If you would have told me this time last year I would have completed the London Marathon I wouldn’t have believed you.
“Funnily enough, I enjoyed the first half of the marathon, the crowds were something else. It’s hard to actually put into words the kindness I saw and felt – it really does restore your faith in humanity.
“I chatted to a lot of people on my way around the course. Hearing stories of why people were running was inspirational and a massive distraction. I never felt alone as the sheer volume of participants filled the course from start to finish.”
The crowds lining the route at any running event, and in particular the London Marathon, invariably provide a big boost to those taking part – and Annie was no exception.
“The atmosphere was incredible,” she recalled. “Everyone says how amazing it is but there was not a single area on the route where there wasn’t music blaring, children handing out sweets or cheering and your name being shouted out. Truly amazing, and even in the rain at the beginning everyone was out in force.
“Singing YMCA through Canary Wharf was a once in a lifetime thing and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten as many Jelly Babies!
“I also felt incredibly safe – the number of emergency services that lined the route and the vast number of volunteers makes the Marathon an exceptional event. I now know why people travel far and wide for it.”
Understandably though, Annie also encountered just why completing the marathon can be a daunting task.
“At mile 22, I hit a ‘wall’,” she explained. “My legs were heavy and the thought of still having 4.2 miles to go was hard.
“But through gritted teeth, thinking of the reasons why I was running pushed me through the pain. I walked and jogged and slowly made my way through the outstanding miles.
“Running along the Thames and turning the corner onto the Mall will be an experience I won’t forget in a long time. I still get emotional thinking about it. The countdown from 800 metres still felt like ages but the crowds almost carry you and seeing the sign saying 385 yards to go, I felt like I was sprinting but the video says otherwise!
“I didn’t think my family would be at the end but as I neared the finish line, I saw them in the spectator stand and it made all the pain worthwhile.”
Having said before the event this would be her one and only attempt at the distance, has Annie now caught the marathon bug and changed her mind about a second attempt?
“No,” she insisted. “I think if I decided to do another one, my family would disown me!”
You can still support Annie’s fund-raising quest and find out more about the DPJ Foundation via the following links: