Be inspired by a teacher who ran the marathon for children's critical care service

Posted on Wednesday 28th December 2022


Are you considering getting fit and fundraising for us as one of your New Year resolutions this year?

This spring, we’re looking for amazing supporters who are ready to take on one of the world’s top marathons, and make a huge difference with every mile. To make sure that everyone who wants to can take part, Evelina London Children's Charity are offering you the chance to register for the 2023 London Marathon with no booking fee. Sign up before 15 January 2023 to save £50, using the code LASTCHANCE2.

Last year, an inspiring primary school teacher ran the London Marathon to raise funds for a children’s critical care service that has treated some of her pupils.

Claire Edmondson, who teaches at Langton Green Primary School, Tunbridge Wells, took on her first marathon to raise money for the South Thames Retrieval Service (STRS).

STRS are a team of children’s intensive care nurses and doctors based at Evelina London Children’s Hospital. The team bring intensive care to the sickest children at their local hospital via a specially equipped ambulance and then transport the babies and children to a specialist children’s intensive care unit.

Claire, who has been a teacher for 14 years, said: “Both through work and in my personal life, I’ve been touched by stories I’ve heard about Evelina London and STRS. I’ve taught several children over the years who have received care from Evelina London and have friends whose children have had their lives saved after being treated by the STRS team.

“I have only heard amazing and positive things about the care their children have received and the support given to families, so I wanted to give something back.”

Claire ran the marathon in 4 hours and 55 minutes. She said: “It was pretty amazing. The last few miles were extremely tough but I loved it. I never thought I’d be able to complete it in under five hours so I’m really proud of myself.”

On the last mile, school friend Caroline May cheered on Claire, accompanied by her children Sophie, Olive and Arthur. Claire currently teaches Arthur and previously taught Olive. In 2018 a rare inflammatory condition saw Arthur transported to Evelina London by the STRS team. Thanks to the care he received, Arthur is now a happy and healthy four year old.

Mother-of-two Claire said: “It was so fantastic to see Caroline and her family on that last mile. Seeing Arthur and knowing that the care that he received is the reason he’s able to be there definitely helped to get me over the finish line.

“I am extremely grateful to everyone who has supported my fundraising. A special thanks to staff, parents and pupils at Langton Green Primary School – a “Marathon Monday” event we held at the school, in which all 420 pupils collectively ran the distance of a marathon, raised over £1,300.”

With that event, plus donations that have been made to her JustGiving page, Claire has so far raised more than £2,600 for Evelina London Children’s Charity that will support the work of STRS.

Caroline May said: "I am in complete awe and admiration of Claire taking on the London Marathon for STRS. The training and dedication she had poured into this achievement is phenomenal and I know all her family and friends are incredibly proud of her. 

“She is the most amazing teacher who is relentlessly positive and enthusiastic, so it was no surprise to see her still smiling at mile 25 and willing to pause her marathon to come over and high 5 Arthur!"

Karen Starkie, STRS coordinator and paediatric intensive care unit sister, said: “I would like to wish a huge congratulations to Claire for finishing the London Marathon, on behalf of the STRS and paediatric intensive care teams at Evelina London.

“It is extremely touching that Claire raised money for our service. Support like this allows us to care for even more children and young people and ensure we’re able to get the specialist intensive care equipment and expert medical staff to them when they need us the most.”

Learn more about raising money for us by becoming more active on the Evelina London Children's Charity website.