5 runners complete Virgin Money London Marathon 2021 for Jewish Care

04 Oct 2021

After nearly two years of waiting to run the Virgin Money London Marathon, five runners from Barnet have already raised almost £22,000 for Jewish Care, to go towards the vital support that the charity provides to older people in the community.

Alan Giesenow, 39 is married and has a 6-year-old son in High Barnet, says, “I’m feeling pretty chuffed and smiling from ear to ear at having finished my first marathon. It was a pretty tough day and the last three or four miles I had to grit my teeth just had to get through it but I’m feeling pretty good. I saw a colleague and we ran together for the last 10 miles but the support from the crowd was amazing with everyone shouting your name and it was fantastic to see my wife and the Jewish Care team along the way - it really spurred me on. It’s good to know that Jewish Care is there for us all in the community if we ever need their support and it’s a real honour to run for the charity, especially after the pandemic. I’m glad I’ve done it.”

Fellow runner, Jake Norton, also ran his first marathon and chose Jewish Care, he says, “I’m thrilled I did it. It was an incredible experience and the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be, but the atmosphere was unbelievable and it was so good to see friends, family and the team from Jewish Care.

“Knowing that I was supporting a great cause and how many people supported and donated to my marathon kept me going after the first half when it got really tough and my headphones powered off. Everything about the organisation brings happiness and light to our community and the last year has really showed us why Jewish Care is so vital. They have managed to help so many not only survive but thrive even when up against the most difficult of challenges.”

Originally a cyclist, Jonathan Wiesbart, 52, signed up to do his first marathon and recently suffered a setback when he came off his bike and broke his elbow. Jonathan says, “Despite the break in my training regime I am still hopefully on course to finish in a respectable time. I’m doing my bit to support Jewish Care by running over 70km and training 7 hours a week. I’m not ashamed to ask people to do their bit in helping Jewish Care plug some of the funding gap from the pandemic.”

Leslie Walters, 55, from Woodside Park also ran his first marathon and is jointly support Jewish Care, who supported his uncle. Sidney Walters, at the end of his life at Jewish Care’s Anita Dorfman House and the North London Hospice in memory of his friend Jack Morgan who passed away at 22. Ben Pollock also trained hard to support Jewish Care and Behind Every Kick and completed his marathon yesterday.

The funds will help to support Jewish Care’s services that have supported thousands of older people through the pandemic. Many of the services receive no Government funding including the local community centres, Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, the social work and community support team, Jewish Care Direct Helpline, Meals on Wheels and befriending services, supporting hundreds of older people across the borough.

Adam Overlander-Kaye, Jewish Care’s Director of Fundraising & Community Engagement said, “I’d like to congratulate and thank all of our runners for taking on this tough challenge to help Jewish Care to support thousands of older people in the community.

 “After waiting for 18 months for the Marathon to take place it was so fantastic to support the Jewish Care team on the route - the atmosphere was incredible. If you feel inspired and would like to join Team Jewish Care to do a Marathon or another challenge event, please do get in contact, we would love to hear from you”.

 If you would like to take on a challenge, whether it’s pounding the streets, climbing up mountains or cycling across the city, there are events for people of all ages and fitness levels to help raise money for Jewish Care.

No challenge is too big or small, taking on a 10k, half marathon, marathon or bike rides are a great way to get fitter whilst supporting your favourite charity. Jewish Care will support you all the way to the finish line with a dedicated member of the team to help you with your fundraising and training to get you ready for the challenge.

Jewish Care Runners times

Jonathan Wiesbart - 3 hours 55

Alan Giesnow - 4 hours 29

Jake Norton - 3 hours 35

Leslie Walters - 4 hours 40

Ben Pollock - 4 hours 7