Preparations are well under way now for the Panathlon runners taking part in the Virgin London Marathon in a couple of weeks’ time.

This year Panathlon is delighted to have four runners wearing the Team Panathlon shirts and raising funds for us as they slog around London’s 26.2-mile route.

Training has reached a peak and one of our intrepid four, Andre Ellis, helped raise the Panathlon profile in-store at John Lewis Stratford City John Lewis Stratford Cityyesterday. He and other John Lewis partners took part in a 5-hour marathon, running on two treadmills in prime location instore – less than a mile away from the London 2012 Olympic track.

Andre, pictured at the top of the page with fellow John Lewis partner Nick, himself a veteran of our Royal Parks race last year, set off at 11am on one treadmill and ran consistently until he reached the 26-mile marathon mark within the 5-hour limit. Twenty other partners joined him on the other treadmill in various slots throughout the day in an effort to match him over the 5-hour slog.

Andre is running London Marathon on 24th April with his wife, Cheryl – both pictured here. You can support them too by visiting their fundraising page. IMG_0832

John Lewis have been supporting Panathlon for years and this is another example of them ‘going the extra mile’ for the cause. Thank you all! We look forward to welcoming colleagues in the next couple of months to our finals taking place in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a 5 minute walk from John Lewis Stratford City.

tim richmondAnother runner supporting our charity this year is Tim Richmond, who has been involved with Panathlon for over 10 years as a teacher at Linden Lodge School in Wandsworth and is running his first marathon!

“I’ve seen the benefits Panathlon brings to thousands of disabled youngsters myself, so it’s great to be giving something back,” said Tim (pictured right).

If you wish to support Tim on his way – please visit his fundraising page 

Another Panathlon recruit this year is Chris Buckley, who is helping Panathlon’s communications through the work of Content Factory. chris buckleyChris is a veteran of several marathons to date, but never the big one in London and is looking forward to it.

Chris said: “Training for and running a marathon is a huge physical and mental challenge for anybody, but seeing first-hand the positive impact that Panathlon has on so many young people was all the inspiration I needed and I’m delighted to be able to contribute.”

Chris is also raising funds and can be supported here.

Thank you to all our runners and good luck in your last few weeks of training. We will report back in due course about how they did on the big day!

Mini Marathon smallAlso competing on Sunday April 24th, but in the Mini-Marathon Wheelchair event, will be several Panathletes, such as previous competitors Sean and Michael from Croydon, pictured here at last year’s race. Michael, a veteran of several years of Panathlon and Mini-Marathon, will be racing for the last time this year as he is at the upper age limit.

For the first time new impairment group athletes are taking place in the Virginmoney Mini- Marathon including children with physical disabilities and visual impairments.

Watch this space for an exciting story about a Panathlete who will be competing for the first year in the Mini-Marathon race!