Lauren and Sue's story: Part 1

‘Will you train and run the London Marathon with me next year?’ This was the Facebook message Lauren Whale sent to Sue Pritchard when the 2017 London Marathon application process opened.

Lauren wanted to celebrate her 40th year by setting a list of 40 things to achieve, one was running the London Marathon. Lauren explains, “I’ve always dreamed of running the London Marathon, but perhaps never believed that I could. I used to help out at the water station on race day and one of my fondest memories is when a class mate brought his dad’s marathon medal into school after the race one year. I was so envious. I wanted one for myself.”

Lauren and Sue: London Marathon journey

To do this, she wanted to call on a close friend, Sue Pritchard, to help her train and be her marathon buddy for one of the most testing adventures of her year.

Sue, who previously ran the Virgin Money London Marathon in 2011, claimed race day in 2011 was “probably one of the best experiences of my life”.

After a few years with injuries, no training and lack of motivation, Sue was very surprised when Lauren asked the question. “I wasn’t sure if Lauren thought I would say no or not. But I think she knew that as I wasn’t in a good place with my fitness and self-belief, I would never have had the courage to attempt another marathon by myself.”

Sue previously ran the marathon in memory of her father, Roy Moxon, who lived with ataxia and died in 2009. An incurable neurological condition which affects co-ordination, balance and speech, Sue wants to help fund research to find a cure. “We couldn’t win my dad’s battle with ataxia,” Sue said, “but by raising awareness and helping to fund research into possible cures and medication, we knew we could help other people”, Sue explained.

And so, after choosing to run for Brain Research UK, Lauren and Sue’s journey began.

Part two of Lauren and Sue's amazing adventure is available here.

Find out more about ataxia.