One of our runners told us on Sunday morning that a marathon is a journey of hundreds of miles and the final 26.2 are just the victory lap. Well, what a victory lap the London Marathon is; 11 months of hard work, determination, tireless training and fabulous fundraising distilled into a few hours of excitement, adrenaline and possibly a little pain...

So just how did our 2019 Dream Team get on? 

Edwina Gudgeon

Edwina was determined to beat her 2018 finishing time, so we were all delighted when she crossed the finishing line in a fabulous 5 hours 34 minutes. Around 30 minutes off her previous time; what an achievement!

It is fair to say that Edwina hasn't always been the biggest fan of the training, but her fundraising has definitely been more fun. Her big fundraising event 'A Night with The Rokkits' in December raised over £1,300.

At last count, Edwina had raised over £2,500 - a fantastic amount that even bagged her a spot in the local paper.

Will she run a marathon again? "No way!"  Read more about Edwina’s story and donate here.

Grace Massarella 

Grace is a regular runner, and has completed Reading Half Marathon in the past, but London was her first ever marathon. She completed in a brilliant 5 hours 11 minutes - now that's a great way to start her 40th birthday celebrations!

Supported tirelessly by her family, colleagues and friends, Grace's fundraising has been beyond her wildest dreams. On her application form she had aimed to raise £2,000 but her total currently stands at just over £5,000. A phenomenal amount, Grace was keen to thank all her colleagues and pupils at Emmbrook Infant School for their unwavering support.

Read more about Grace’s story and donate here.

Melissa Jurasek

Despite being a keen and regular runner, Melissa has been niggled with injury during her training for this, her first ever marathon. At one point, there was talk of deferring to 2020, but Melissa was determined to continue and, following plenty of physio, was given the all clear to race. The determination certainly paid off, and Melissa completed the marathon in just 4 hours and 26 minutes!

That determination carried on into her fundraising too. Adamant that she was going to reach her target, Melissa jokes that she even resorted to baking (apparently it's not one of her strong points) but we think that it has paid off. Last time we checked, she'd raised over £2,800!

Will she run a marathon again? "Maybe in a couple of years!" Read more about Melissa’s story and donate here.

Nikki Mills 

"I don't like running" - that’s one of the first things Nikki told us when we met! Has she changed her mind? Well, she seem to be a convert - but her knees certainly aren't.

Despite being in agony from just a few miles in, Nikki was absolutely sure that she could do it and, after some painkillers, went on to walk the rest of the race in an amazing 5 hours 32 minutes. We certainly wouldn't have advised carrying on, but Nikki is thrilled to have completed the race and is over the moon that she could do it for Daisy's Dream.

With some fundraising still to come in, Nikki has raised a wonderful £1,761 to date!

Will she run a marathon again? "The 2020 ballot entry is already in!" Read more about Nikki’s story and donate here.

Sara Richardson

As someone who had never run before, Sara's marathon journey has been the most inspiring of this year's team. Despite the sweltering heat of her first 10K, a three month long chest infection, and appointments with a physio, Sara has developed a love of running that certainly won't stop at the London Marathon.

On the day she did amazingly, finishing in just 5 hours and 6 minutes. She also had a shout out live on the BBC 1 race coverage and has since spotted her photo in Runners World magazine too. Just brilliant!

Fundraising wise, Sara did an outstanding job, raising more than £4,100 - incredible! On Sara's behalf, we'd like to extend a huge thank you to her company for their very generous £2,000 donation towards this amazing amount. 

Will she run a marathon again? "Definitely!" (In fact, she's already entered for the Amsterdam marathon later this year and the 2020 London one...) Read more about Sara’s story and donate here.

Lawrence Renny 

We cannot begin to tell you just how frustrated Lawrence sounded when he called, just 48 hours before the race, to tell us that he had fractured his ankle and was about to be confined to a boot and crutches for 6 weeks. Despite his many elaborate plans to take part in the race regardless (!!), we were relieved that Lawrence followed medical advice and withdrew from his place so that he could focus on resting up and healing.

Lawrence's disappointment was palpable, and we wanted to give a special mention here to him for all the hard work and effort he put into his marathon challenge. We're sure that you will all join us in wishing him a speedy recovery.

With years of trying to get a ballot place, months of training, and almost £600 raised for Daisy's Dream - will he sign up for a marathon again? You'll have to watch this space...

Read more about Lawrence's story and donate here.

The maths minded amongst you will probably have worked out already that our fantastic 2019 Dream Team have raised over £17,000 between them this year (and that's excluding any Gift Aid!) Once we have paid for their places in the event, that leaves us with a phenomenal donation of more than £15,000. What an achievement!

We could not be more grateful to them all for their time and effort over the last year - it has been a pleasure to support them on their fundraising journey. We also want to thank everyone who donated to support them - they couldn't have done this without you.

If you've been inspired to give London 2020 a go, why not apply for your own place in our Dream Team? Go on, you know you want to!

Apply for 2020