London Marathon Calling
Of all the thousands of fund-raising runners in the 2023 London Marathon, not too many will have selected their chosen charity more carefully – or poignantly – than Annie Pritchard.
Taking on the 26.2-mile challenge for the first time, and in one of the world’s most famous and popular annual sporting events, Annie is hoping to raise as much money as possible for the DPJ Foundation, a mental health charity in her native Wales.
There is a personal empathy with the charity for Annie, who is viewing her marathon debut as a ‘one and only’, simply happy to tick the experience off her bucket list – having admitted to a tinge of surprise that she made the cut to join the 50,000-strong field pounding the streets of England’s capital at her very first attempt.
“I think running a marathon is always in people’s minds – you either want to run one or not,” said Annie, a Corporate Finance Executive for KBS Corporate Finance.
“I put my name in the ballot, having heard from others it would take a few years to get picked out.
“I decided to put in an entry off the cuff, and when I received an email it said ‘you’re in’, so I thought ‘oh, right, okay, I’d better do something about it!”
In addition to the gruelling amount of training required to run a marathon, Annie also turned her thoughts to which charity she would like to raise money for – and a particularly emotive choice quickly came to mind.
“I always wanted to get into the marathon through a ballot, not through a designated charity place – which would still be amazing, but I wanted to do it for a smaller charity,” explained Annie.
“The DPJ Foundation’s aim is to help and support people with mental health issues in Wales within the agricultural sector. My dad, when he was 16, lost his dad to suicide, and more recently one of my schoolfriends took their own life at the age of 21.
“The charity was only founded in 2016 after the lady who runs it, Emma Picton-Jones, her husband, Daniel, committed suicide due to financial pressures related to farming.
“I was born and raised in North Wales and I always intended to raise money for a small charity which needed a platform. My target is £2,000 and I know every penny will help this charity.”
In terms of a personal sporting target for the big day on Sunday April 23, there is only one in mind for Annie – simply to reach the iconic finishing line on The Mall.
“I’m not targeting a time, I don’t want to put that pressure on myself – just to cross the finishing line and to be the only one in my family to have run a marathon,” explained Annie regarding her debut marathon aspirations.
“I formally kicked off my training after Christmas. I always try to start a year giving myself something to aim for.
“I’ve run 18 miles in training, increasing the distance each week. I’ve done a couple of triathlons in the past, run 10ks and I do the Park Run most Saturday mornings.
“But I think I’m only ever going to run one marathon…and it had to be London.”
You can support Annie’s fund-raising quest and find out more about the DPJ Foundation via the following links:
Mental Health Farming Charity | Home | The DPJ Foundation
How do funds raised help the DPJ Foundation?
£5 could pay for 15 promotional pens to help get the DPJ Foundation name into farmers’ households
£10 could pay for 360 promotional Share the Load cards with the helpline number
£13.50 could pay for a promotional bale sticker to raise awareness
£20 could pay for a talk in your local community
£50 could pay for a session with a professional counsellor
£65 could pay for half a day’s work supporting an individual by telephone
£100 could pay for a large promotional banner to promote the Share the Load helpline
£150 could pay for a training course for 12 people
£300 could pay for 6 sessions of counselling (which is offered to start to each person)
£1,000 could pay to keep the telephone and text helplines running for a month
£2,200 could pay for training with the Samaritans for 12 new helpline volunteers