There is something about the London Marathon that is uniquely special.

All those runners, all those stories, the hopes, the fears - the blood, sweat and tears.

It’s the largest annual fundraising event in the world, and amongst over 40,0000 runners taking part we were privileged to have 23 of our own.

To get a place at the London Marathon is an effort in itself as it’s always hugely over-subscribed.

Then there’s the training. Getting marathon-fit means committing to a gruelling training schedule – most of it taking place in the shortest, darkest and coldest days of the year.

And on top of that our runners aim to raise as much as they can for the hospital causes that mean so much to them.

And this incredible little group raised over £50,000 between them – with donations still coming in!

Some of them ran in memory of loved ones they have lost. Others to say thank you for the care they or someone special to them has received. 

There was a team supporting our Oxfordshire IMPS Fund, which brings first aid skills to children across Oxfordshire, and another team of the Silver Star Maternity Fund runners, supporting maternity services.

And we also had a group of hospital staff – including anaesthetists, oncologists, midwives and heart consultants who all took on the 26.2 mile event.

All were united in the aim of making a difference to our local hospitals – The John Radcliffe, Churchill, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Horton General and Oxford Children’s Hospital in our NHS Trust.

Dr Abigail Lewis, who completed the course in just 4 hours 21 minutes, told us: “The London Marathon was wonderful - despite the initial rain and grey skies! Each mile I dedicated to a different friend, family member or in memory of someone special. Mile 12 I ran for Oxford Hospital Charity and spent that mile reflecting on the positive impact that they make in our hospitals and all the people that had kindly contributed to my fundraising page.”

Louise Harris ran in memory of her daughter, Belle, who passed away ten years ago. She said:

“What an honour it was to run for the Oxford Hospitals Charity in support of the Genetics Department at the John Radcliffe. Even more so to do so whilst honouring what would have marked our daughters 10th birthday.

"My experience during the day and those leading up to it were overwhelming - from raising £6,000, sharing my story with the comms team, the outpour of love and support to race day and running then completing the TCS London Marathon! 

“There is something about that feeling of camaraderie , how most are running for something or someone that means so much to them. All whilst surrounded by thousands of strangers championing them on.

“A highlight for me, was seeing a fellow Oxford Hospitals runner during my final miles. I needed a pick me up and seeing & connecting with a team member who was also fundraising for an amazing cause was just the tonic I needed to push through!”

Paul Masters took part in memory of his twin baby boys, after several years of supporting local charities who helped the family through the toughest of times. He said: This is my last challenge, for a while at least, and I wanted this act to be not just about mourning the loss of our boys but looking to the future and supporting families with a hope that there can still be happiness after loss.”

Dr Payashi Garry, who works in the Adult Intensive Care Unit as a Consultant Anaesthetist, ran to thank the charity for the support given to patients and staff during the pandemic. After the run she told us: “It was very tough but the atmosphere and crowds kept me going! I’m so happy to have been able to support the charity. It was an amazing day and one I’ll never forget.”

And if all this talk of running has got you interested, we have some good news for you.

This year Oxford Hospitals Charity has fifty discounted places for the Oxford Half, which takes place on Sunday 15 October. Join our charity team for just £25 (half price) and get extra support, a running top, and the warm glow of supporting a great cause.

To find out more visit