Sarah McDonough, 38, and Ali O’Hora, 36, started running together during the Covid pandemic in 2020, when they were both seeking a running partner for safety on dark winter evenings. The pair, both members of Liskeard’s East Cornwall Harriers running club, struck up a close friendship and, after tackling several half marathons between them, decided to try their luck for a place in one of the world’s most popular marathons.
“We’d been told how hard it was to get a London Marathon place in the general entry ballot, so decided we should start entering each year, in the hope of one day getting a place,” explains Ali. “When I got the email to say I’d been successful, I was shocked – even more so when Sarah messaged me to say she had a place too!”
Two runners from South East Cornwall are preparing to take on their biggest sporting challenge yet, after both securing sought-after places in the 2022 TCS London Marathon.
While there is no obligation to fundraise for charity with a ballot place, Sarah and Ali have opted to fundraise for two special causes in recognition of their good fortune in getting to run the prestigious race together on 2nd October. Sarah, whose Dad sadly passed away in 2016 while awaiting a kidney transplant, is raising money for Kidney Research and Ali is supporting the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, after losing a relative to the disease last year.
“It feels incredibly special to be given this opportunity and to be able to raise vital funds for such important charities makes all the long hours of training so worthwhile,” says Sarah. “It will be an emotional day but we can’t wait to take on the challenge in October.”
With less than five weeks to go, the pair are appealing for donations, which can be given via their Just Giving pages: