The Health and Welfare charity Leonard Cheshire Regional Fundraiser Sarah Grout is set to embark on her third London Marathon, thirteen years after a near-fatal skiing accident in 2007.
Sarah hung up her running shoes after her second London Marathon in 2011 and never dreamed a third was possible, due to the impact of the injuries sustained: a dislocated hip, torn ligament, and cartilage damage to both knees. To cap it all, Sarah suffered a six-minute cardiac arrest whilst in a French hospital theatre.
After completing her second marathon, Sarah underwent further knee-surgery and was advised by the consultant to only participate in low-impact sporting activity.
But due to the new ‘virtual’ London Marathon virtual format this year – where participants may take 24 hours to complete the course on 4th October – Sarah has been able to commit to completing the milestone on home soil, walking around the back lanes of Worcestershire.
Sarah is now the regional fundraiser for leading disability charity Leonard Cheshire and she says the inspiration to take up the challenge came from her experiences in redeployment as a support worker in the charity’s Cheltenham care home Gloucestershire House at the start of the pandemic. She said:
“The disabled residents at the care home had taken on two long-distance virtual cycling challenges during lockdown, finding the team spirit and the motivation, despite the additional barriers imposed by the current restrictions. I draw immense strength from their continuing resilience, positivity, and can-do attitude. If disability was not a barrier to doing what they want to do, then lockdown was not going to stop them. This was a prime example of Leonard Cheshire’s ‘Actually I Can’ ethos.”
Sarah has formed her own virtual London Marathon ‘team’ with six other members from local businesses taking up the 26.2-mile challenge, including Sarah’s husband Andrew and several members of the business networking group ‘Sterling Networks’ where Leonard Cheshire is the charity partner.
The Networking Marathoners – Sarah and Andrew Grout, Hazel Bamford, Tom Payne, Steve Ackroyd, Alan Clark and Rick Towers – have set up a JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/NetworkingMarathoners