Sally’s marathon effort for St John Ambulance

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Crossing the finishing line of the London Marathon was more than just a personal triumph for CWU national officer Sally Bridge. Thanks to the generous support of well-wishers from across the union, she’s also smashed her target of raising £2,000 for St John’s Ambulance by over 50 per cent!

With retrospective sponsorship proceeds still trickling in as The Voice went to press, Sally is now within a whisker of raising £3,100 for the UK’s leading first aid charity – an organisation whose work she’s viewed with increasing admiration having taken up running in her late 40s on account of their routine attendance at running events across country

A decade on, just prior to London Marathon D-day, Sally was the first to admit she couldn’t “quite believe that I’m actually going to do this at 59-years old.”

Explaining her reasons for choosing St John Ambulance as the beneficiary of her good fortune of securing a highly sought after place as a charity runner, Sally continued:  “It was seeing first hand the way that St John Ambulance helped people who were in distress and dehydrated at the 2018 Brighton Marathon that made me decide to support that charity if I ever got the opportunity to run the London Marathon

“Everyone kind of takes them for granted, but they’re just invaluable – unsung heroes who selflessly turn out in force at these events to keep people safe.”

What Sally had not fully anticipated, however, was the level of support she would receive from St John Ambulance volunteers every two miles of the way of the iconic 26.2-mile London Marathon route – nor the many friends who turned out to cheer her on.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’ll never forget,” she stresses. “The atmosphere, the people, the colour and the noise – everything about it surpassed my expectation.

“Not only did I thoroughly enjoy it, but I also got extremely emotional. I saw my first friend at nine miles and my last friend at 25 miles, and lots of others in-between. Then there was the St John Ambulance people and others calling ‘Go Sal, go!’ In the end I was hugging complete strangers!”

Despite her pre-Marathon nerves about the final six ‘killer miles’,  Sally completed the grueling 26.2-mile route in 5 hours, 45 minutes and 44 seconds.

“Because of the adrenaline I ended up running the first half too fast – so it really was just the crowd that got me round the last few miles,” she admits.

“We you go down The Mall it’s just unbelievable with all the cheering and screaming – and just over the finishing line St John Ambulance were there. I didn’t feel up to attending their post-event celebration for supporters, but they kindly gave me the best cup of tea ever!”

Sally concludes: “Many thanks to everyone that has supported and sponsored me in this incredible journey It was a fantastic experience and something that I will remember all my life.

“More importantly on that day I one again saw my chosen charity in action and I can only say that the volunteers from St John Ambulance are incredible. Absolute heroes!

“I’m going to leave my sponsor page up for a few more weeks so any further donations will be gratefully received no matter how small.”