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GOOD CAUSE: Rickmansworth residents smash London Marathon for worthy causes

 Published on: 25th October 2021   |   By: Lizzie Ellis   |   Category: Uncategorized

More than 80,000 people took part in the grueling 26.2-mile London Marathon on Sunday, October 3, for the first full-scale event in over two years due to the pandemic.

Amongst those to take on the challenge through the streets of London were two Rickmansworth residents, who both ran in support of charitable causes close to their hearts.

Matthew Dawson, a father of two from the town, completed the London Marathon to support Access Sport, a charity of which he is a Trustee and long term supporter.

Access Sport wants to help get the nation active, including the thousands of disabled and disadvantaged young people who even prior to COVID-19 were denied opportunities in sport. 

Matthew, who is an IT director and endurance athlete in his spare time, has raised more than £5,200 for the charity and smashed his ‘summer of endurance’ challenge of cycling, swimming and running.

The impressive triathlon involved cycling 330km across the UK on a single day in June, followed by a 17km swim of Lake Windermere in August, finishing with running the 42km London Marathon in October. 

Matthew told RickyNews: “The marathon was a really tough endurance challenge, not least because I only had 5 weeks of run training due to an injury earlier in the year.  Thankfully training for the other events and the fantastic crowds pulled me through, especially in the last few miles when my mind and body were in conflict with each other!  It was so good to see so many people lining the streets of London, lifting our spirits and helping us get to the end.

“I’m delighted that ‘Tri With Access Sport’ has now raised over £17,000. It’s not too late to donate and every penny will help disabled children and those from under-served communities to be more physically active more often, which is so important for physical and mental health.”

To donate to Matthew’s fundraiser visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Matthew-Dawson17

Another resident to take on the London Marathon was Frank Gimmi, who has raised more than £4,400 for Cystic Fibrosis Trust. 

Frank, who had never been a serious runner, took on the marathon to support his daughter Ottilie, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis a few weeks after being born in November 2020. 

Parents Amy and Frank have been supported by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust over the past year and Frank wanted to do something to thank the charity for their help since Ottilie’s diagnosis. 

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes a sticky build-up of mucus in organs – mainly the lung and digestive system.

Ottilie is pancreatic insufficient, meaning she can not absorb the fat from foods without the help of medicine every time she eats.

Frank praised the Cystic Fibrosis Trust for their support in providing information and guidance on everything from the basics of the condition to applying for disability living allowance. 

He described the Marathon as the “second best experience of his life” after the birth of his daughter, explaining that he was spurred on by people screaming for 26-miles. 

He also wants to encourage others to take on the marathon for a worthy cause. He said: “Anybody can run the London Marathon. I have never run in my life before and am not a fan of cardio. If there is a charity that means a lot to you, push your boundaries and just got for it and raise some money.”

On his fundraising page, Frank said: “I know this has been a very gruelling year for everyone in every aspect including financially so we will be grateful for any amount of donation which will go towards finding treatments and hopefully a cure to a condition which our baby girl and thousands in the UK battle.”

To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FrancescoGimmi/1

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