Suspected fractures, unusual prep and first-timers: equestrians get ready to take on London Marathon

  • Determined equestrians are preparing to tackle the London Marathon for equine charities and other good causes.

    The 26.2-mile challenge returns in-person on 3 October, following last year’s event being held virtually owing to the pandemic. The virtual marathon will also return, allowing runners from all over the world to take part.

    Livery yard owner and coach Rachel Silcock will run in aid of charity Victa, which supports blind children and their families.

    Rachel, who turned 50 this year, told H&H it had been “fairly tough” getting the long runs in while running Gamston Wood Livery, as well as teaching at camps over summer.

    “Luckily I’m a member of a fab running club, the Worksop Harriers, who have been a massive support as I only took up running a few years ago,” she said.

    “Running is a massive benefit for your mental health and gives me a break from the horse world that can be a little intense at times. I come back from each run more enthusiastic for my teaching and my yard. I think horse people tackle long distance running with a quiet determination, you only need a pair of running shoes and have to put one foot in front of the other – it’s so much easier than competing with horses!”

    Visit Rachel’s fundraising page here.

    Dressage coach and rider Lili Brooksby-Dalby of Brooksby Dressage, will take on the marathon for Brooke and has raised more than £7,000 to date. Lili asked her social media followers to send videos of themselves performing dressage tests for her to judge, in return for a donation to her marathon fundraising pot.

    Lilli (left) with Hannah

    “People from all over submitted their tests. I’m incredibly fortunate so many of my friends rallied around and donated prizes and sponsored rosettes and trophies. Their kindness has been nothing short of an inspiration to keep pushing the miles as a totally unfit, sport allergic, lazy fitness person prior to this!” said Lilii, adding she will run the marathon alongside her friend Hannah Doyle.

    “Hannah has been great for me. She helped me through my first 10k and we have done all our long runs together. I find running with her so much easier than when alone.”

    Visit Lili’s fundraising page here.

    Also running for Brooke is Elissa Bucher, a dressage trainer and owner of Defago and Djoe Dimaggio, who are campaigned by Katie Bailey.

    Elissa (left) pictured with Katie Bailey on Elissa’s Djoe DiMaggio

    Elissa, who took up running in April, told H&H she nearly had to withdraw from the London Marathon with a suspected stress fracture in her pelvis but received the ok to run last week.

    “A pain started around two weeks ago and it turns out I have aductor tendinopathy, which I’ve been told is even more painful than a stress fracture!” she said.

    “I’m determined to complete the marathon – if I want to do it, I just have to push through. I’m not in peak condition but I just think about the horses Brooke support and the pain they have gone through – what I’m going to be going through is a miniscule of that.”

    Visit Elissa’s fundraising page here.

    World Horse Welfare has a number of runners taking part in the London Marathon this year including Gerard Bedson and vet Katie Offer. Gerard is the husband of the charity’s field officer Becky and has had an “unusual” preparation during the past eight weeks as he trains on a treadmill while working offshore in the North Sea.

    To support Gerard visit World Horse Welfare’s website here. Donations for Katie can be made here.

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