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Sophie Papps blog: Thank you, Ronners

Sophie Papps blog: Thank you, Ronners

The sprinter reflects on meeting some of this year’s London Marathon ‘Ronners’

I was lucky enough to meet some of the ‘Ronners’ who had survived the agonising (as I imagine it to be) 26.2 miles of the Virgin Money London Marathon on Sunday.

It was amazing to see so many people excited at meeting a selection of athletes that had gathered to greet them and congratulate them. Many thanked us for coming, but it was us that needed to thank them.

The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund gives grants to so many young athletes and it’s by means of the money that people like this raise so selflessly in doing things like taking part in the marathon. The grants will allow younger athletes to buy much needed basic equipment or more elaborate things like warm weather training, things that are essential to their progress into becoming bigger and better athletes, many of whom will go on to win county champs and others Olympic medals!

“Many thanked us for coming, but it was us that needed to thank them”

Meeting these people really highlighted the spirit of the Fund to me. Ron and Jean dedicated so many years to athletics and young athletes, and these people are following in those footsteps. Taking the time and effort to train and complete a marathon is not an easy thing to do, but they did it so well and all to help a bunch of people who before that day they’d never met.

I’m so thankful for the scholarship I was given in Jean’s honour. Without it I know I wouldn’t be where I am today. Post-surgery training has been slow and painful at points but the support has allowed me to stay where I am, see physios and concentrate on getting better rather than having to worry about money and what I’m going to do next.

All of the Ronners are such an inspiration and hopefully one day I can repay the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund, perhaps in the form of the London Marathon! But for now I hope they can all take pleasure in knowing that without them I don’t think I could be an athlete!

So, thank you.

Sophie Papps
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