A Centre Manager from Luton has begun a rigorous training regime in the run-up to the Virgin London Marathon, which she will be entering in aid of her company’s charity Rays of Sunshine.
Ahead of the event on April 22, Nicola McGonagle, aged 35, is running 30 miles every week. One of her first big hurdles was the Milton Keynes Half Marathon in early March, where she battled the wind, rain and snow to run 13.1 miles. Leaving the comfort of the cross-trainer behind, Nicola is acclimatising herself to outdoor running by squeezing in lunchtime laps of Hyde Park, balancing her training with her busy role of Centre Manager at Business Environment, Westbourne House.
Her tremendous effort is solely for the benefit of Rays of Sunshine, which helps children who are living with serious or life-threatening illnesses. They grant wishes and give happy memories to children and hospital wards, allowing the children and their families an unforgettable experience; as well as a break from their daily routine of medication and hospital appointments.
As Business Environment’s house charity, the company provides Rays of Sunshine with office space and services worth £100,000 every year. The charity also receives various donations from such company fundraising events as Nicola’s marathon.
Although a fitness-fan, this is the first time Nicola has entered a marathon: “I’ve always watched the London Marathon on TV but I decided to grab 2012 by the horns and just go for it. It’s the world’s largest annual fundraising event and, with the Olympics just around the corner, I can’t think of a better way to raise money for Rays of Sunshine. My co-workers, clients and friends have been such a great support. Training is tough; but knowing how much good this money will do is motivation enough.”
Nicola hopes to raise £3,000 for the charity by the time she crosses the finishing line. Not simply relying on donations, she has set up a book-swap at her workplace, where employees can exchange paperbacks and leave a small donation for Rays of Sunshine.. Between now and April 22, Nicola is looking forward to raising as much money for Rays of Sunshine as she can. To help Nicola reach her £3,000 target, go to http://www.justgiving.com/Nicola-McGonagle
Nicola McGonagle is Centre Manager at BE Westbourne Grove