A great day at the London Marathon for Jesuit Missions

Nine members of the JM team including Paul Chitnis, (back left) and Christ Brolly nSJ, front right
Nine members of the JM team including Paul Chitnis, (back left) and Christ Brolly nSJ, front right

The Jesuit Missions London Marathon runners had a great day on Sunday with all 24 completing the course.  This year the team was raising money for the JM Syria appeal which sends much needed medical supplies to the sick and injured in Homs and Damascus.

Two ran in the famous Womble costumes, novice Jacques St Laurent in 5.12 and Benjamin Eckmans, who was persuaded to don the costume only the day before.  “ I missed not being able to see the great London landscape as I went around the course, as I could really only see my feet and the road in front of me” said Jacques, “but in compensation I got huge cheers from the crowd all the way around for the costume.”  Our novice Chris Brolly was pleased with his time of 3.43 “the crowd was fantastic – one chap misread my tabard which read “Jesuit Missions” and called out “Come on Jesus!” which made me smile!”

Damian Fitzpatrick ran for JM last year and has done five marathons around the world. “London is the best” he says “ you get so much support from the crowd all the way around, it really sustains you”.  He was pleased with is time of 4.5 hours.

Matthew O’Connor, a Stonyhurst alumnus whose siblings are still in the school, ran the fastest time in just under 3.5 hours.

Novices Chris and Jacques at the after-partyMount St Mary’s College and Barlborough Hall fielded an impressive team of nine teachers and senior staff.  Rachel Craggs was pleased with 3 hours 50 minutes which beat her last year’s time, and Dr Nicholas Cuddihy, head teacher, who was running his first marathon (4.50) had few words: “I’m just glad it’s over” he said.

Jesuit Missions staff were well-represented: Paul Chitnis, JM Director, ran for the first time in just over 5 hours, and Richard Greenwood, JM Deputy Director, delegated running to his parents John and Clare Greenwood who both took up running only recently and completed together in 5 hours 50 minutes.  “It was a great atmosphere” said Clare, “and I feel surprisingly good!”

All the runners were brought back to the Jesuit community in Mount Street, which isn’t far from the finish line, for showers, food and sports massages. “We feel very well looked after” commented Damian “and I hope to be back next year”. 

Fr Superior Dominic Robinson SJ commented “It was a joy for the community to welcome the runners and their supporters, it is always a great day with a great buzz and in aid of an excellent cause.”

If you haven’t yet sponsored a runner there is still time to support the JM Syria appeal and show your appreciation of the team’s efforts. 

Make a gift online by following this link to the JM website

Novice Jacques running as a Womble through Wapping