Back to news

London Marathon runner raises funds for the MS Society


Topcon’s Corporate Accounts Manager, Johanne Lazenbury ran last month’s London Marathon, raising over £2,700 for the MS Society.


Running a marathon was never in my sights, but whilst watching the 2016 London Marathon I was so moved by the people taking part and their reasons for doing it that I thought I can do that in memory of my Mum who had severe MS and my sister had then just been diagnosed.”

“So I entered into the ballot last May and forgot all about it as everyone said you will never get in first time. Imagine my surprise when at the end of October the letter arrived saying I was in! I was totally gobsmacked, anxious, but excited at the same time” Jo remembers.

After some research on marathon running, she started training in November, primarily following the Virgin’s training plan for beginners. Getting up to 12 mile runs on a regular basis was fairly easy, but the bigger runs (18/20 miles) were a bit more challenging to do by herself, so she joined a running club and hasn’t looked back since.

Unfortunately, Jo got an injury and was out of training for most of January, but once it got better she was back in there ramping up her training, with a few deep tissue sports massages after long runs to prevent any further injury.

The marathon day itself was amazing” sums up Jo. “I was up at 5am getting everything ready, all be it a little nervous it felt good to actually have the day of the marathon arrive.”

“I was on a high from the moment I got to the start line. The excitement of actually being there, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge pressing the start clock along with Prince Harry, the gong went, and off I went amongst the 40,000 other runners!”

The crowd support was fantastic and having your name called out on route really helped, especially when the energy levels started to sag. The last five miles especially, went by really fast as family and crowd support at this point was tremendous.”

 “Crossing the finish line and collecting the medal felt sensational! I was so proud of my achievement and I even made better time than expected. I probably could have done it a little faster too, but wanted to take in the whole London Marathon experience, so was high fiving people and dancing or singing every time I came around a bend.”

Since crossing the line at 5hrs 14 minutes Jo has been on a high with a continuous grin across her face and hasn’t taken her medal off yet.

It’s amazing what you can achieve if you put your heart, soul and determination into it” Jo adds.

Raising £2,730 with some more potentially coming in, Jo is very pleased with her accomplishment and her family and friends are of course tremendously proud of her.