Exeter’s Brandon Taylor is running this Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of St John Ambulance.
He’s supporting the health and first aid charity as a thank you for looking after hi, the last time the event was held, in 2019.
“I have done the London Marathon for the past two years, and the number of St John Ambulance volunteers available throughout the course is phenomenal,” says Brandon.
“On my way to the start line in 2018, I was very nervous and remember sharing a DLR carriage with some St John volunteers. When we got to the station, they all wished me luck and one of shouted ‘we hope we don't see you!’
“That stuck with me throughout the day; how these strangers were not only taking the time to be there to help us runners medically, but also through random acts of kindness like simply cheering us on.”
During his last London Marathon, Brandon picked up an injury around mile 16 and stopped for medical attention
“The physio and volunteers from St John who looked after me were lovely, and gave me comfort in saying if I needed help further along the route I would be able to find someone,” he adds.
“So, in a nutshell, I want to give back to the charity that has played a part in both my London Marathon experiences.
“Working for the NHS, I know the incredible work our paramedics do, and this extends to St John Ambulance volunteers. The fact these guys are volunteers and don't get paid for their work makes them even more special.”
A 1,000-strong St John Ambulance team, plus over a hundred people running in support of the health and first aid charity, are limbering up for the event.
Delayed from its usual April date, the race is St John’s biggest single gathering of highly-skilled volunteers and medical professionals since the onset of COVID-19.
“It feels good to be back at the marathon,” says the charity’s head of event planning, Ann Bedford.
“After 18 months of St John focusing on supporting the nation through the coronavirus pandemic, we’ve been providing first aid cover at more and more events, but this is by far the biggest.
“We’re proud to have been at every London Marathon over the last four decades and our volunteers will line the route as a reassuring presence, ready to look after any runners who need us.”
A marathon effort
St John Ambulance at the Virgin Money London Marathon in numbers:
- More than 1,000 St John people, including volunteer first aiders and medical professionals
- 50 treatment centres
- 45 ambulances
- 25,000 plasters
- 210 tubs of petroleum jelly
- 600 ice packs
If you’d like to support St John Ambulance by running the London Marathon in 2022, you can find out more here: www.sja.org.uk/run-the-tcs-london-marathon