Jo Allen, Chief Executive of UK real estate fund manager, Frogmore, is one of 30 amazing individuals running the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon for Willow. Each has their own story to tell but, as Jo explains, she’ll be celebrating her own Special Day with a difference…

“I'll be 50 in April and I wanted to do something to mark the occasion. Something to push myself and, in doing so, help others, so I thought a marathon would be the perfect celebration. I have absolutely no idea how I'm going to complete the 26 or so miles. I've wrestled all my life with a strong will and this run will be a personal battle with myself - my head will be telling me 'to stop; I don't need to do this' so I will need to overpower the urge to quit.

“I realise that my marathon battle is insignificant compared to those fought every day by the seriously ill young people supported by Willow. I have been very lucky in life and so I'd like to do something to help those who've been dealt some very bad luck.”

Jo’s decision to run is also tinged with personal sadness, having tragically lost her father to a heart attack aged just 53, despite having a clean bill of health.

“My father was the epitome of health so it came as a big shock to all of us when he sadly passed away. Before I started training I hated running, but I see it as a tribute to him to push myself to finish it.

“Frogmore is a proud advocate of Willow and all the charity stands for. Whilst I will struggle to complete 26 miles, I know it’s nothing in comparison to the battles fought every day by the seriously ill young people supported by Willow. I have been very lucky in my life and it means a great deal to me to be able to give back to others who have been less fortunate.”

Jo is on course to raise £150,000 for Willow, which would enable 120 people to receive a Special Day. To donate to Jo’s cause, please visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jo-allen-is-50.

 

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