Nikki and Jamie running their London Marathon. There are buildings under construction in the distant background. They followed by a friend on her bicycle.

2020 Virtual Marathon…an experience we will never forget!

This year’s London Marathon was a London Marathon like no other! It was the 40th running of this world famous and prestigious event but due to Covid-19, had been postponed from April and then turned into a virtual event. On Sunday 4th October, thousands of runners took part but instead of running in London, they ran in their own local area, on their own and without the crowds lining the streets to cheer those on.

Of those who ran, 9 were running for Unique, as far apart as London, the West Country, Berlin and Hamburg! Unique members Nikki and Jamie Donohoe were among them, running from Greenwich park in South London to their home town in Hertfordshire and have so far raised an incredible £10,500! Nikki takes up the story:

“Our daughter Niamh has NAA10 Syndrome, she is one of 9 in the UK and 60 globally with this condition. The London Marathon has always been on my bucket list and when my husband Jamie secured a ballot place I approached Unique to see if I could secure one of their golden bond places. They said yes and we set about training in October 2019 expecting to take part in April 2020. Due to Covid 19 the event was postponed to October 2020. We kept training over the summer and 7 weeks before the planned race, the organisers cancelled the event and decided to hold a virtual event instead. Deciding to continue our endeavours was the best decision we could have made. Last Sunday we completed the 26.2 mile challenge ‘our way’ with friends and family by our sides the whole way. It was one of life’s amazing and unforgettable experiences, hard at times as we battled the elements, physically challenging like nothing I have ever done before (other than childbirth!) and so mentally gruelling. But, it was also exhilarating, emotional, uplifting and I did not stop smiling throughout. We loved every minute! Niamh is now 4.5yrs and she took her first steps earlier this year. She crossed the finish line with us and it made the months of training, injury and uncertainty all worthwhile. It’s safe to say I now whole heartedly understand what the ‘runners high’ is! Thank you for the opportunity Team Unique, we loved representing you and the families whom your work supports.”

We want to thank all our runners – Nikki and Jamie, Graeme Weiner, Maria Wallace and friend Rach,  Sebastian Horn, Martyn Layng, Lisa Serrano and Jeremy Linter for continuing to support Unique in these strange times – we are a small charity and big fundraising events like this are crucial to us being able to provide our support and information to families affected by rare chromosome and gene disorders.