London Marathon – what’s your #ReasonToRun? Share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) The London Marathon Expo opens today for excited runners to collect their numbers, do a spot of last-minute shopping, and build up their anticipation ahead of the big race on Sunday. We asked Sparks runners about their #ReasonToRun – here are some of their stories. The Munchkin Milers A team of nine runners from Munchkin UK are hoping to raise an incredible £35,000. They all have their own reasons for taking on the marathon challenge and for supporting Sparks. “My inspiration comes from my daughter – who, as my pace setter for training, regularly cycles 8 or 9 miles with me as I get my miles in. She was born 5 weeks early and spent her first 12 days in the Special Baby Unit. 12 days seemed like an eternity, however I met mums and dads whose babies had been on the ward for months, many with life changing or life threatening conditions” – Claire “Previous to choosing to partner with Sparks, the baby son of friends was admitted to hospital. He received necessary and important care to aid his recovery and is now a healthy, smiling little boy. Sparks ethos is ‘Every child matters’ and this rang particularly true – every child should have the right to quality of life, made possible though pioneering research and advancements in medical care” – Laurence Visit the Munchkin Milers fundraising page Some of our other runners Anne I’m running for Sparks/GOSH because I lost my twin brother Mark to Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia nearly 31 years ago. Medical research like Sparks provides helps so much with (mainly) childhood conditions like this. Mark was looked after at Great Ormond Street who were not only wonderful to him, but to my family as well. I’ll never forget it. @SparksCharity @GreatOrmondSt Marathon one, of my “Treble” for Sparks/GOSH, done today at Brighton. Heat was brutal! https://t.co/MTXyMzDWWF pic.twitter.com/9bJxMe5D3j — Anne Gaskarth (@anne_gaskarth) April 9, 2017 Visit Anne’s fundraising page Ian I’m running because my eldest child Charlie was born 11 weeks prematurely, weighing only 2.5 lbs, and we had to watch him be resuscitated three times in his first 48 hours of life. Without the expert care and help he received he would not have made it. I hope that some of the money I raise will be used to research why these things can happen and how they can improve the already amazing care they give. Visit Ian’s fundraising page Nicola I’m running for Sparks as my nephew was born last June with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia and had to undergo a major lifesaving five-hour operation at four days old. I chose Sparks due to the research they do into life changing conditions and diseases for babies. I’m excited and emotional – I’ve raised £3000 and hope it goes a long way towards helping babies and families Visit Nicola’s fundraising page Craig I’m running for Sparks because my son was born with Group B Strep infection two years ago, and we are so lucky that it was caught and treated very early on before it was too late. I really believe that this wouldn’t have been possible without medical research. We need charities like Sparks to help fund future research in order to support children and families. So it’s great to have the opportunity to contribute to this amazing cause. Visit Craig’s fundraising page Carrie and Scott Myself and my husband Scott are both running for Sparks because we wanted to support a charity that worked with children and young people. We chose Sparks because of the amazing research they provide to little ones who desperately need medical help. Having watched a friend grow up with disabilities and regular trips to GOSH, Sparks felt like the charity to support! We’ve loved every second and can’t wait until Sunday. Visit Carrie and Scott’s fundraising page Angie I wanted to run London and raise money for Sparks. I have two healthy children but you never know when you may need hospital support. I’m a nurse so I have seen a lot of poorly people over the years. Also my best friend is the heart transplant co-ordinator at GOSH, so I feel proud to be running in support of her. I’ve loved this challenge more than I ever thought. The hardest part has been training in the cold and juggling a young family. My husband said in his speech last May that I was going to run the London Marathon, so here’s my promise! Can’t wait for next Sunday it’s going to be one of the best days of my life. Visit Angie’s fundraising page Peter Everyone knows a child who has been born with a medical condition. I chose Sparks as I think every child deserves a chance a to have a healthy life and the research Sparks are funding will go a long way to help. If the research leads to improving a few children’s lives it will be worth it. Visit Peter’s fundraising page Good luck to everyone on Sunday! We hope you enjoy the experience – we’ll be there to cheer you on. Get involved If you’ve been inspired by these stories and you’re watching the marathon on Sunday, be sure to give a big cheer for our Sparks runners – 26 miles is a long way! If you’ve been inspired to test your own limits, check out our other challenge events. We have places in the Vitality London 10,000 run, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey, and the Superhero Tri Series.