Top riders and groom take on marathon challenge: ‘we’ve been getting fit as the horses have’

  • British event riders Emily King and Sam Ecroyd are swapping four legs for two to take on the TCS London Marathon this spring.

    The pair are joined by head girl Sarah Morrilly, and all three are raising money for the Brain & Spine Foundation, which supports people affected by neurological problems.

    “It’s something that Sam and I have wanted to do for a while – we’ve been talking about it for years and years,” Emily told H&H.

    Olympic medallist Mary King, Emily’s mum, ran the London Marathon in 2021, which gave Emily the nudge to take the plunge for 2023.

    “We were in the lorry, we do a lot of travelling all together, and I said ‘Let’s just do it and put our names down’. Then we were all accepted and thought, ‘Oh right, so this is happening!’” she said.

    Emily added that she and Sam “are quite competitive”, so preparing for the marathon together has helped keep them motivated.

    “We started training quite early over the winter, just so it wasn’t such a big shock when it came to the miles clocking up,” she said.

    “We’re preparing for the eventing season, so we’ve been getting fit as the horses have been getting fit.”

    All three are runners, and Sarah has done the Chester Half before, but this will be their biggest challenge yet.

    One of Emily’s old school friends used to work for the charity, so Emily knew about the work it does and wanted “to give something back”.

    She said the work the charity does is also a major motivating factor. Sam had a cross-country accident last year and sustained a bleed on the brain. Although he did not need the charity’s services, they were aware the support was available should he require it.

    “The Brain & Spine Foundation is a fantastic charity. In our sport, injuries are scarily common. We thought it would be a very fitting charity to run for and to give something back to them. They aren’t thanked enough and are just incredible,” said Emily.

    • View Emily, Sam and Sarah’s respective London Marathon (23 April) fundraising pages

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