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Queen Mary staff and students set to run London Marathon

Multiple members of staff and students from Queen Mary University of London will run in the 2018 London Marathon on April 22 to raise money for their nominated charities.

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Queen Mary staff and students running the 2018 marathon
Queen Mary staff and students running the 2018 marathon

Additionally, around 80 students will be volunteering on the day across mile 19 to help the runners and ensure everything is safe throughout the day.

While some runners gained entry via the ballot, 23 students and staff applied for a place through the Queen Mary Student’s Union. Those that applied had to fill in an application form and select one of the Raise and Give (RAG) nominated charities to run for. RAG covers all the Union's charity fundraising activity, and focuses on raising money for good causes whilst having fun.

Raising money to improve health

Megan Annetts, studying medicine, is a first time marathon runner raising money for Streetdoctors. She said: “I have always wanted to do a marathon, especially after running Hackney Half in 2016. When I saw there was an opportunity to run for RAG and more importantly a charity, Streetdoctors that I have volunteered for since 2015, it made sense that this was to be the year I applied.”

On her chosen charity she added: “Tragically this year 52 people have been murdered in London, a number which will sadly rise. Streetdoctors is a national charity with an East London branch, all the teams tackle the violence epidemic by empowering vulnerable, young people with the confidence and knowledge about what to do if someone is losing a lot of blood if they have been stabbed or what to do if someone falls unconscious.”


Yee Ning Goh (Bubura) is a third year medical student and has previously participated in the Kuching Marathon (Sarawak, Malaysia). Bubura is supporting the The Guild of the Royal Hospital of St Bartholomew. She said: “I have always enjoyed outdoor long distance running since my teens. After volunteering for the London Marathon last year, I am very inspired and determined to participate this year! It is very encouraging to see spectators cheering for the runners throughout the run.”

Bubura said it can be a little difficult to train around exam period, however, she said: “The main challenge has been the weather than the need to study, as I prefer running outside and I couldn’t do that especially during the ‘Beast from the East.’”


Queen Mary staff

Dean Gonsalves, Faculty Marketing Manager for Science and Engineering, competed in the Brighton Marathon eight years ago and said he has always been inspired by the amazing people running the London Marathon. He said: “After numerous attempts I finally got in last year via the ballot. From growing up in London, I always wanted to attempt the marathon in such an amazing location and my home city. Also, we have struggled to find sponsorship for the girls’ football team who I volunteer as a coach, so I decided to run for the teams.”

On his chosen charity he added: “I’m excited to be running this year’s London Marathon to raise funds for the charity where I volunteer, which is called Tankerton FC. I coach three girls’ teams (under11’s, under 13’s and under14’s) and two women’s teams.”


For Emma Rylands, Recreational Sport and Marketing Coordinator for the Student’s Union, this is her first marathon. She said: “I am someone who loves to rise to a challenge and the marathon is the best and biggest challenge yet. I find it empowering to motivate yourself to train through the awful weather conditions, injuries, when it all seems too much, and have it all be so worthwhile, hopefully, to achieve something amazing at the end of it.”

Emma is running for Rape Crisis, a charity that aims to tackle sexual harassment through creating safe environments for women to talk about their experiences at help support them through it. She added: “I couldn’t be more excited to finally tick this off my bucket list, and to be raising money for such a worthwhile charity makes it all that bit more special. It’s all such an overwhelming experience and I can’t even imagine what it’s going to feel like to cross the finish line!”


Rachael Pagett, Learning and Development Advisor, began running when she started working at Queen Mary, where a colleague encouraged her to participate in the Queen Mary running club.

She said: “I decided to take part in the London Marathon for three reasons: firstly I wanted to raise money for RNIB [Royal National Institute of Blind People] because my nan was registered blind and they really helped her come to terms with this with physical and emotional support. Secondly, I have been inspired by watching the marathon previously as a spectator by the sheer determination and sense of achievement that the participants felt. Thirdly, although I haven’t always been a runner I do like running and I think this helps!”


For Dr Colleen Cotter, Reader in Media Linguistics, the London Marathon will be the ninth  marathon she has completed in 10 years. Dr Cotter describes the marathon as a: “26.2-mile long block party full of happy people, with all of diverse London coming out to cheer on and support runners.”

She said: "What gets me through the gruelling long miles is doing it for Whizz-Kidz - the charity makes such a positive difference to young people's lives -- and because my colleagues at Queen Mary have been so supportive over the years, through their generous donations, kind words, and being there to raise my spirits along the route. I love that. Plus, some of our Queen Mary students volunteer with the successful Tower Hamlets Whizz-Kidz programme at Mile End Hospital. It's all connected. Everything helps and everything gets me to the finish line."  


2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

Queen Mary students volunteering in 2017
Queen Mary students volunteering in 2017

Her Majesty The Queen will start the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon from Windsor Castle. This year an incredible line-up of the world’s best elite runners and para athletes will contest across the 26.2 mile distance.


In 2017, the Virgin Money London Marathon raised an incredible £61.5 million for charity, setting a world record for an annual one-day fundraising event for the 11th successive year.

More information

  • If you are a Queen Mary student or staff member running in the 2018 London Marathon and would like to be included in this story please contact
  • Study at Queen Mary University of London
  • 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon 
  • The Queen Mary Runners group meets every Wednesday at 12.30pm at the East Corridor, Ground Floor, Queens' Building, Mile End campus. It is free and consists of staff and student runners. All are welcome, from absolute beginners to experienced runners. For more information, contact Paul Kent, follow on Twitter  or join the Facebook group. There are also plans to find other opportunities later in the year for those who like a challenge and want to get active, watch this space.

  • You can get involved in any of wide range of sport and fitness offers we have here at Queen Mary. We offer casual turn up and play sport all the way through to high performance support for our students and staff, for more information on the different offers, click here. For some well needed stress relieve you can also get involved with our FREE activities during the exam season, that will run across the Mile End campus.

For media information, contact:

Jake Bonnyman
Media Relations and Social Media Officer