The Lily Foundation logo featuring a butterfly, hearts and an 'x' for a kiss

Fighting mito,
finding hope.

Marathon effort to fight mito from everyone involved


25 April 2024

A huge shoutout to all the incredible Lily runners who completed the London Marathon last weekend, raising an incredible £127,000 to help fight mitochondrial disease. This year, the world’s greatest marathon saw a record field of over 50,000 participants, and 44 of them wore Lily colours.

A lady in a Lily vest with her arms in the air running the London Marathon A man in a Lily vest running the London Marathon A lady being lifted up by a group of people in front of a Lily Foundation banner A lady in a Lily Foundation vest smiling and running with her arms in the air A Lily Foundation cheer squad at the London Marathon A man and a woman wearing Lily Foundation vests smiling for a selfie Two women in Lily Foundation tops holding hands and crossing the London Marathon finish line Two runners in Lily vests standing with their arms around a woman A man in a Lily Foundation top smiling and holding up his London Marathon finishers medal Two women in Lily vests holding hands, running and smiling A woman in a Lily vest running, smiling and punching the air A man wearing a Lily vest and smiling with his arms round his family

Cool and cloudy conditions were perfect for the runners but proved a little chilly for the cheer squads. However, that didn’t stop them being the biggest (and noisiest!) we’ve ever heard – thanks to everyone who turned up the volume for us at miles 14 and 19.

Among this year’s Lily runners were several family members inspired to take on the challenge by youngsters fighting or lost to mitochondrial disease. Like Lily Operations Manager Claire, who ran the route just days after turning 50, and 12 years after losing her son Jacob.

Thanks too to everyone who put their legs on the line on behalf of our corporate partners EWI Store, Premia Re and Blackstone Recruitment. One of those corporate competitors was Sachin; although he’s been running for many years, he’d never attempted anything as epic as a marathon before.

Until his employer, Premia Re, chose us as their Charity of the Year, Sachin had never heard of mitochondrial disease or The Lily Foundation. What he discovered about our work and the support we offer mito patients motivated him to lace up his trainers and go the whole 26.2 miles this year.

Sachin was running with two workmates, and between them they’ve raised around £6,000. On top of sponsorship, and requesting donations in lieu of birthday gifts, the trio trained together and even held a finish-time sweepstake to keep the fundraising momentum going.

As well as raising valuable funds – and awareness – for us, Sachin’s learnt lots during his marathon journey, from what to eat and wear to when and how to train. The Brighton Marathon a few weeks ago was his dress rehearsal, and another bonus he’s seen is the improvement in his Parkrun times.

Ahead of the big day, Sachin was looking forward to soaking up the incredible support at this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, high-fiving kids and tucking in to the sweets being handed out along the way.

In the end, Sachin completed the race in a remarkable 3 hours and 38 minutes. “Running the London Marathon is special," he said afterwards. "But the support and collaboration from everyone that either ran for or was supporting from Lily was amazing! It’s been an amazing experience and I’m so glad we’ve all raised as much as we have.”

Fastest finisher for Lily in an impressive 2 hours, 45 minutes was Aaron Enser – well done Aaron! He, Sachin, all the other Lily runners and a crowd of supporters received a warm welcome at the Horse & Groom pub in Belgravia after the race.

Thanks to Afrim, Michael and the team for serving up thirst-quenching drinks alongside steaming plates of pasta and pizza, and to Fiona and Paula who eased the aching muscles with much-appreciated post-race massages.

We salute all our runners and the inspiration you’ve given us – take comfort in the fact that your pain is only temporary whilst the glory is everlasting! Every penny you helped raise will go towards supporting families affected by mitochondrial disease and funding pioneering research into treatments and a cure.

If our amazing Lily athletes have inspired you to take part in next year’s London Marathon, the public ballot is now open, but hurry – it closes on Friday 26th April. Or you could have a go at applying for a Lily place. However you secure your spot, as part of Team Lily we’ll be with you all the way.

Coming soon...