A marathon to remember: celebrating our Starlight Superheroes

We don't want to blow our own trumpet, but #TeamStarlight smashed this year's London Marathon! 

In a whirlwind of determination and camaraderie, 56 incredible people took on the challenge of a lifetime, all for the noble cause of protecting play for children in hospitals and hospices. 

Among them, a ninja and even a frog took part, proving that anyone can run the Marathon.

#TeamStarlight embarked on a journey of endurance, buoyed by the cheers of our staff at Mile 15 and again at the finish line of Mile 26. They all finished within 7 hours, injury-free. 

Our fastest runner completed the Marathon in under 3 hours - WOO!

But it wasn't just the finish line that left us in awe. It was the collective effort and generosity of our runners that stole the show. Together, they raised over £129K for Starlight! 

Thank you so much to all our runners as well as our staff for cheering them on the day.

Meet Phil Minns, who's taken on the challenge of running 54 marathons this year in aid of Starlight.

👉🏻 Why have you decided to fundraise for Starlight?

Mostly after leaving the army, I was an advocate for better mental health, and still working on it for all. 

On seeing how Starlight play and make hospitals (a daunting time for anyone) a nice memory, a time of fun rather than pain, I feel they are securing the mental health of those that need it and building their future.

👉🏻 What is your fundraising challenge and what inspired you to take on this particular challenge?

I wanted to make this a challenge and wanted to make it hard, as the pain of running 54 marathons in my 54th year is nothing compared to what the children go through. I wanted it to impact me, so I decided to commit to doing this on workdays, not only do 26.2, but to work after. This experience would be challenging and satisfying.

👉🏻 How have you found your challenge and training so far? What have been the ups and downs?

The challenge was hard; early mornings, 4am every Monday for a year and several times having to run a double marathon to ensure my family and work duties were completed. Injury-free, but mentally on the rainy, stormy days it was hard, but I challenged myself and was positive. Hitting the halfway point was great, but falling down the stairs and approaching the final one was hard to manage.

👉🏻 Why is it important to raise money for Starlight and why do you think play is important for seriously ill children?

The work they do is like a fourth emergency service, which needs to be recognised and rewarded. Play is a natural aspect of growing up for many. However, for those without play because of illnesses, Starlight reconnects this and brings laughter into the wards, bringing determination and fun alongside motivation for these children, which I feel is vital.