After last year’s Virgin Money London Marathon clashed with the second day of Pesach, meaning Jewish charities and organisations missed out on hundreds of thousands of pounds in fundraising due to Yom Tov, the community’s runners will though be out in force on Sunday as they take on the 26.2 mile course for a variety of good causes.

Emunah will have seven runners taking part including a solicitor, accountant and architect. For David Bondt, 33, the charity is close to his heart, saying: “I was with my [late] grandma Irene when they opened the Beit Bondt building at Emunah’s Netivot Family Counselling and Day Care Centre. The challenge is a big commitment, we’ve all been training hard and will be setting off together but I expect to see Roey and Dovid vanish in the distance.  I’ll be glad to finish and get my medal.”

Roey Freilich has also been involved with Emunah for many years, and says: “I thought it was a good opportunity. This is my first marathon and it is a lot tougher than I thought it would be.” Dovid Bitan said: “According to the training manuals I’m not really a runner… I’m keeping my friends company. I’ve been having a rest as I had an injury but hopefully I’ll be fine with physio.”

Emunah's Roey Freilich, David Bondt, Dovid Bitan

Emunah’s Roey Freilich, David Bondt, Dovid Bitan

Their other four runners are Jonny Gould, 42, who says: “It keeps me fit and is a massive challenge”, Claire Gothelf, who’s running in memory of her father, Harvey Gothelf, Marc Jackson, who also ran in Paris  and Flora Frank, who has run 34 marathons to date and will also run under the Norwood banner. Donations to Team Emunah can be made via http://emunah.org.uk/donate/

Jewish Care’s Director of Fundraising and Marketing, Daniel Carmel-Brown, is running the marathon to mark his 20 years at the charity. He says: “I’m dedicating this experience to the 1,400 colleagues and 3,000 volunteers who work tirelessly to support the Jewish community of London and the South East. Like most families, mine too has been touched by Jewish Care for decades, and the charity did, until January, continue to play an important role in the life of my one remaining grandparent.”

Josh Domb, 27, says: “When my grandma, Diane, went to live at Jewish Care’s Otto Schiff home last year, I was very keen to find a way to show my appreciation for everything that the team at Jewish Care has done for her. I’d always thought about running a marathon and this was a great opportunity to do it for an excellent charity, whose work has benefited my whole family.”

Matt Blom, 26, says: “I’ve seen some of the great work they do, I’m just looking to finish and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Marcus Coatsworth, 31, says: “I’ve always wanted to run a marathon and I promised myself that I would stop finding excuses when I got to 30. Running 26.2 miles is a daunting prospect but it is time to achieve another of my life goals”, while Yael Kohn is travelling from Israel to take part.

Jonny Phillips will be running his fifth London Marathon, as he looks to add to the £23,000 he’s already raised for Camp Simcha. The 43-year-old from Edgware said: “I’m now into my fifth London marathon and the experience just keeps getting better. Although the Jerusalem marathon last year was very special, I can’t imagine any marathons in the world being quite like London… the course, the support, the fans, just fantastic.

Jonny Phillips will be running for Camp Simcha

Jonny Phillips will be running for Camp Simcha

“I also know some of the families supported by Camp Simcha and I hear from them about the unconditional support and care they get. To know that I am doing something I really enjoy and supporting an amazing charity elevates the whole marathon experience. Let’s hope I am not even half way there with the number of marathons I run for Camp Simcha.” You can sponsor him at: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JonnyPhillips2017

Nightingale Hammerson’s Director of Operations Andrew Leigh and Executive Assistant to the CEO Cathy Buckingham, will be taking part to raise financial support for the charity, which will provide both long and short term residential, nursing and dementia care and services to its residents. Andrew’s first attempt, while Cathy’s fifth, the latter said: “Andrew and I are amazed at the generosity of our friends and supporters of the charity, I really hope I can run my PB in London of 4.13. Their fundraising page can be found at: http://bit.ly/2mu5t2E

Nightingale Hammerson’s Andrew Leigh and Cathy Buckingham

Nightingale Hammerson’s Andrew Leigh and Cathy Buckingham