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London Marathon for Anna Freud National Centre: Meet the Runners!

As the London Marathon start on Sunday 23 April draws closer, we talk to Rosa and Tom who are running in support of the Centre. Last year, we heard Siobhan Baillie’s story, which you can read here.

So, who are you?

R: I’m Rosa and I’m from a small town in the United States called Statesboro, Georgia. I’ve always been interested in child mental health, so after I completed an MSc in developmental psychology and clinical practice, I started working as a research assistant at the Anna Freud National Centre. My favourite food is boiled peanuts which are actually not as gross as they sound. 


T: And I’m Tom. Staff members might have seen me loitering around the Finance Office making sure the Centre stays afloat. Every year I go on a cycling trip called the Tour de Barry and this year we went from Porto to Lisbon via a mountain called Serra Da Estrela.  

Why have you chosen to run for us?

R: The Anna Freud National Centre has been a fantastic place for me to study and work. In addition to delivering clinical work, education, outreach, and research, the Centre is dedicated to developing pioneering models to improve the current system of child and adolescent mental health care in the United Kingdom. I am very excited to raise money to support the amazing work that’s done here. 

T:There’s no doubt that the work the Centre is doing is a powerful force for positive change in children’s lives. Given that I don’t have the skills or experience to work directly, any chance to raise awareness and be part of that is very welcome. 

What do you hope to gain from running the marathon?

R: Personally, I hope to gain a better idea of my physical abilities and to succeed at changing my life to be more focused around exercise and healthy living. It’s been easy for me to let fitness slide when I’m living in a busy city like London and working fulltime, however it’s so important to me to be physically fit and to make a habit of exercising daily 

T:When people ask me where I work I always say I work for a children’s mental health charity to make up for being an accountant… helping kids one spreadsheet at a time. I hope running the marathon gives me the chance to connect more closely with the work the charity is doing and make some of those numbers a bit more interesting. I also really want to see if I can run a marathon!

How is your training going so far?

R: Training is hard, but it’s been going well so far. I’ve found running in the dark/cold/wet a bit demoralising, so I’m very much looking forward to spring (less dark, still wet and cold). If anyone is interested in running with me (don’t worry, I’m slow), let me know!

T: Sunday just gone, week 2 of 14 week plan…run 12 miles!?! Regents park was beautiful on every loop…some of you may have noticed I can barely walk this week. 

How people can support you?

You can also support Rosa and Tom by sharing running tips, running with them, or helping to organise some fundraising events as it gets closer to race day. 

They would both be very grateful for any support you could offer at their Virgin Money Giving Pages:

We wish them, and all others taking part in the London Marathon to raise awareness of mental health, the very best of luck!