2021 London Marathon round up

Ashleigh Spiliopoulou

The 2021 London Marathon is complete, with twenty four fantastic Ronners taking part in the race. Whether it was running a new personal best, or completing their debut marathon, each had their own target and took on this monumental challenge with determination, drive and a desire to make a difference to the careers of young athletes, by raising money for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund.

Amongst this year’s Ronners were seasoned marathon runners, Steve Dennison and Jemima Bird, who have been loyal and committed supporters of RPMF for many years. Last year they took on the Dorney Lake Marathon as part of the 2020 Virtual London Marathon and incredibly raised over £5000 for the charity. This year they were back, but this time on the streets of central London, where they finished in 3:06.03 (Steve) and 3:20.42 (Jemima). So far, they have already raised over £4000, but there is still time to donate to this fantastic duo, right here.

Also running was Tommy Yule, a Sydney 2000 Olympian and a two time Commonwealth Games Weightlifting Bronze medallist. Since retiring from professional sport, Tommy has turned to running, cycling and crossfit. With a career working as Head of Performance Support at UK Athletics, his preparation for the marathon was somewhat unique. Having been out at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games supporting the athletics squad, Tommy then went on to complete the London Duathlon at the beginning of September, a running and cycling event which involves a 10km run followed by a 44km cycle before finishing off with another 5km run. As if that wasn’t enough challenge for one year, Tommy competed in the British Masters Crossfit Championships just two weeks before the London Marathon! After what can only be described as a hectic few months, Tommy completed the marathon in a speedy 3:36.32. To donate to Tommy’s marathon effort, click here.

Max Samuels was another Ronner who had a challenging preparation period leading into the London Marathon. After contracting COVID-19 just five weeks ago, he finished the marathon in 3:51.20. After the race, he posted on Instagram “London Marathon, the hardest yet greatest thing I have ever done…Onto the next marathon!”

Marathon running seems to be somewhat of an addiction, as another Ronner, Tom Rushovich, has already set out plans to take on the marathon again next year. Having completed yesterday’s race in 4:26.31, Tom is hoping to race in 2022 alongside his dad, Athos, who has been a supporter of the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund for many years.

Hemal Shah, who we interviewed in the build up to the marathon, achieved his target of a four-hour marathon, crossing the line in 4:24.51.

We also had a number of small teams Running for Ron in 2021. This included Alex Zurita, David Butler and Andrew Hicks, a team of three who all work within the sporting sector. Alex was the first to sign up to the marathon, whilst Andy confessed that initially he had been put forward as somewhat of a joke by his friend Matt Wilcox. However, a stubborn desire to prove he could do it saw him enter the team. Shortly afterwards, David Butler, who had long dreamed of running a marathon, had the opportunity presented to him. Andy explained that the team dynamic between them was very strong and that they had been supporting each other’s training through a Whatsapp group. Before the race, Andy explained how he had done many crazy things for charity in the past, but that this was the most extreme. His only aim, he said, was to finish, which he achieved in brilliant fashion! David’s training had been progressing very well, and in fact he ran a half marathon just a week before the London Marathon, in Sheffield, which he completed in 1:59.45. His goal for the marathon was to finish inside of four and a half hours, which he absolutely smashed, running 4:19.46. Alex kept his targets to himself, but secretly he was hoping for sub four hours, which he revealed to Twitter this morning. His super speedy 3:56.16 means that all three came away having achieved their goals. The trio have also come up with a unique initiative in their fundraising for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund. Every donation above £10 will be entered into a raffle with some incredible prizes up for grabs. There is still time to enter so head here to take a look at the prizes and to make a donation.

With so many incredible Ronners, it would be impossible to mention them all. However if you’d like to find out more about any of their stories, you can click on their fundraising pages below. Any donations you make will go entirely to supporting talented British athletes aged 15-23, through our annual grants, applications for which will open on 11 October 2021. Your donations really make a difference to the lives and careers of these young people, many of whom go on to represent their country at Olympic Games and World Championships. Amongst last year’s recipients was Keely Hodgkinson, who this year, at just 19 years old, became an Olympic silver medallist and Britain’s only Diamond League Champion.

Remember, we also have space for you to run the London Marathon for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund in 2022. If you’re interested, we’d love to hear from you. Please email us at info@rpmf.org.uk.

Our 2021 Ronners list:

Jemima and Steve:


Alex, David and Andy:


Lou, Ryan and Hayley:






Charlotte Cornwell:


Charlotte Jones:










Tom Burkinshaw:


Tom Hewitt:


Tom Rushovich: