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Our 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon team

16 February 2017

Five Bristol alumni are running the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017 for Cardiovascular research at the University of Bristol.

Congratulations and thank you to the five Bristol graduates who have been selected to run the Virgin Money London Marathon 2017 to raise money for Cardiovascular research at the University of Bristol.

Below are some of our chosen alumni telling us about their motivation to run. We wish them all good luck with their training and hope that they have a great day on Sunday 23 April.

Leona Jay Mills (BA 2005)

Two marathons in two weeks... bonkers or brilliant? I'm going to be running Brighton marathon on the 9 April and then London marathon on the 23 April because I care about healthy hearts. Heart disease is still the UK's biggest killer and I want that to change!

I'm passionate about running; I'll talk about it day and night to anyone who wants to listen and my friends know that I love running! The endorphins are pretty awesome but I also love running because it looks after my heart as well as my head.

My Dad passed away eight years ago after having a heart attack at 53 years old and I've had heart surgery at the Bristol Heart Institute so I know how important heart health is. I've done a few races to raise money for the BHF so when the chance came to raise money for Bristol University's Cardiovascular Research Department I couldn't say no!! Life is for living (and for running) and I hope that raising this money will help to make sure others don't lose a loved one like I did.

It is bonkers but I've got the support of my family, friends and a good sports masseuse! Plus I know my Dad will be watching me - he'll be thinking that I'm a bit crazy but also be very proud.

My JustGiving page will be staying open till I complete my first Ultra in July. Life shouldn't be too short!

Katherine Willis (BSc 2015)

I'm completely pumped (excuse the pun) to run for University of Bristol and for cardiovascular research. As a 2015 graduate, Bristol holds huge sentimental value as a university, lifestyle and city. Second, a number of people close to me have been affected by heart health and as the most crucial muscle in the body, making breakthroughs is fundamental to helping save lives; and so it is an honour to be part of funding this research. I'm excited for the serious physical and mental challenge ahead. Thank you in advance for any support.

Please visit my JustGiving page if you would like to sponsor me. 

James Reilly (BSc 2015)

I’m super excited to be running the London Marathon this year in aid of Cardiovascular Research at the University of Bristol. I’ve never run a marathon before so the training is definitely going to be difficult but I’m looking forward to the challenge! The top 2 leading causes of death in the UK are coronary heart disease and stroke and so supporting research like this has the potential to save huge numbers of lives. I’ve also seen first-hand the kind of cutting edge medical research that is carried out at Bristol University making it a great cause to support.

If you would like to follow my progress or donate, please visit my JustGiving page.

David Hudson (BEng 1993)

I am delighted to be helping my former University, and specifically cardiovascular research, an area I have personally benefitted from having undergone a catheter ablation procedure (made famous by Tony Blair who had the same operation in 2004), to correct an irregular heartbeat a few years ago. This was carried out at the Bristol Heart Institute, a joint initiative between the university and NHS Trust, and my final reason for running is to test the robustness of their repair work in which I have full confidence. Plus a little bit of hope. I have not run a marathon before, but have often idly speculated about doing so, and the opportunity to run for this cause has finally spurred me into action. 

If you would like to sponsor me, you can do so via my JustGiving page.

Further information

Find out more about the Cardiovascular research at the University of Bristol.