Berkhamsted resident Lana Dales (pictured right) was the youngest person to run the London Marathon this year, with her 18th birthday falling on the day before the race.
Being the youngest runner was a source of pride for Lana, who was racing in aid of Leukaemia Care. Alongside her was her father Robert, who chose to support Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The pair’s JustGiving page has raised more than £8,300 at the time of writing, with all proceeds to be split between the two charities.
Lana said: “Being this year’s youngest runner was great fun. I was informed a while ago that I was, but I had no idea how much attention it would bring. I only found out about my BBC live interview on the Monday before the marathon and then it went from there, [with] a live radio interview with BBC3 and media interviews for various papers.
“I will always remember my 18th birthday!”
Explaining why she chose Leukaemia Care to fundraise for, Lana said: “I [ran] for Leukaemia Care to raise important funds and awareness, and to ensure that everyone effected by leukaemia receives the best possible diagnosis, advice, treatment and support.”
Lana’s connection to Leukaemia Care is a personal one, as she lost her grandfather to the illness.
She said: “I remember his hard battle, and so many other families go through the same so I just wanted to do my bit to help in any way I can.
“Also, we lost a close family friend to leukaemia in November, so it made it more of a reason to support the charity.”
Lana has been a keen runner since the age of eight and described the atmosphere at her first marathon as “amazing”, with huge crowds cheering on all the runners.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lanaandrobertdales?utm_medium=email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20230301_
Credit: TCS London Marathon