Women Can Marathon organisers announce nominated charities for 2018

PUBLISHED: 12:58 11 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:58 11 January 2018

Women Can Marathon action. Picture Monika Bajour Photography

Women Can Marathon action. Picture Monika Bajour Photography

Monika Bajor Photography

Organisers of the Women Can Marathon, the first women-only marathon in Devon, have announced four regional and national organisations as their nominated charitable causes for 2018.

The marathon was first held in May 2017 as an intended one-off event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of pioneering Kathrine Switzer running the Boston Marathon in 1967 when it was men only.

The race at Tipton St John, near Sidmouth, was such a success it was decided to repeat it for 2018. It is backed again by headline sponsor IP Office Ltd and is a partner event for Kathrine Switzer’s global running movement 261 Fearless.

In 2017, the emphasis was on empowering women around the world to run, and the international charity Free to Run was selected to benefit, receiving more than £1,000.

For 2018, race organisers wanted to pick charities closer to home that represent causes they feel strongly about.

Race director Pauline Beare selected FORCE, the Exeter-based cancer support charity, founded in 1987 to help anyone locally affected by the disease.

“We all know someone affected by cancer. FORCE is local and supports so many people. It’s a perfect fit for us,” she said.

Naomi Cole, FORCE community fundraiser, said: “FORCE is delighted to have been chosen as one of the charity partners for the Women Can Marathon.

“We have many keen runners who support our charity and we are looking forward to seeing Team FORCE assemble, ready to take on the challenge with other inspirational women and have some fun whilst fundraising.”

Pauline was a founder of the Women’s Running Network and has been a lifelong advocate of promoting and helping women succeed in sport and she has also chosen the national charity Women in Sport.

Annie Morgan, engagement officer for Women in Sport, said: “Women in Sport is the leading UK charity working to advance gender equality through sport, ensuring that every woman and girl can access the physical, emotional and social benefits that sport provides to lead fulfilling lives.

“In England alone, 1.5 million more men than women take part in sport every week. We want to ensure every woman and girl can access the benefits of sport to lead fulfilling lives.

“We are absolutely delighted to be chosen as a national charity partner for this year’s Women Can Marathon.”

Jo Earlam, who came up with the idea of the Women Can Marathon, has selected two organisations working in the field of dementia as her chosen causes.

Jo said: “I lost my dad and several other family and friends to dementia. It’s an awful disease that is becoming more prevalent. I’m sure many of our runners will have a family member or know someone who has been affected.

“Another link is that exercise has been shown to help stave off dementia, and running a marathon is an excellent way to keep active. My chosen charities are working in research and in community awareness, both really important for changing the lives of people with dementia.”

BRACE is a Bristol-based charity that raises funds across the South West to support dementia research within the South West region. It is developing stronger fundraising links within the Devon area and has increased its funding to the University of Exeter Medical School.

Mark Poarch, chief executive, said: “Jo has given BRACE magnificent support over the past few years, not least with her running shoes on. We are proud to be contributors to the growing research into dementia at the University of Exeter and Plymouth University. Fundraising support from people in Devon will help make a big difference to what we are able to fund at each university.”

Exeter Dementia Action Alliance is a community organisation raising awareness of dementia and educating businesses and organisations to make small changes for people with dementia and their families. It is working towards making Exeter a dementia-friendly city.

Founder Gina Awad said: “We are moved to have been selected as part of what we know will be an inspirational event now in its second year. Jo has been an avid supporter of the alliance since our launch in 2015. She is a great believer and advocate of our mission and this support means such a lot.”

The 2018 Women Can event takes place on Sunday, May 27. It’s open to runners and Nordic walkers, who can take on the full 26.2-mile distance as an individual or enter as part of a relay team of two, three or four.

It is a race, but Pauline is quick to point out: “It’s not about being the quickest, it’s about encouraging women to get involved.

“One of the things marathon running gives you is self-confidence and it helps people to tackle issues in their lives. Running can be that powerful and it’s why there are still so many campaigns in the world to enable women to be able to run marathons.”

The spectacular course is almost entirely off-road. It starts and finishes in Tipton St John and features part of the South West Coast Path and tracks around the glorious East Devon countryside.

Despite the challenging hills, the route, which was Jo’s idea, got a big thumbs-up from women taking part in 2017.

“I’ve run all of the course at some point over the years, taking in different sections of it for training,” she said.

“I’d always thought that if you bolted all the bits together it would make a fantastic route for a marathon. When I measured it, and found it could be done to match exactly 26.2 miles, it seemed like it was just meant to be.

“It’s a hard route, not a course to be thinking about doing a personal best, but that’s not what this marathon is about. It’s about being part of it, enjoying the course and the company.”

The entry fee starts at £35 per person or £25 for each member of a relay team. You can enter via the Women Can website - www.womencan.co.uk – where there is also detailed information about the course.

Fliers are now available produced by sponsor partner LED Leisure, who run a network of gyms in East Devon and Somerset.

Men are encouraged to show their backing for the event by joining the volunteer support team. There will be a big social element to the day with camping available on site at Tipton, food and drink served throughout the day and music in the evening.

Olympic athlete Jo Pavey, from Devon, is supporting the Women Can event and, international commitments permitting, is keen to be the official starter for the marathon on May 27.

Women Can is hosting “An Evening with Jo Pavey” at Cotswold Outdoor, Darts Farm, Topsham, on Thursday, February 8.

Five-time Olympian Jo will talk about her running career and juggling life as a mum, and her passion and support for women’s endurance running. She will also offer top tips and take questions as well as signing and selling copies of her book, This Mum Runs.

Tickets are £10 to include a drink and nibbles – details on the Women Can website.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Devon 24 visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Devon 24 staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Devon 24 account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

26 minutes ago

All three Exmouth senior XIs won on match day eight of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League. The 1st XI moved up to third in the Premier Division table after they put ailing Bradninch to the sword, beating the Mid Devon men by 110 runs at a sun-kissed Maer ground. The 2nd XI became only the second team to beat Upottery 1st XI at their Glebe Park home in a D Division East game and the third XI chalked up a big win over Axminster II in an H Division East game.

Read more
51 minutes ago

Sidmouth 2nd XI opening bat Issac Thomas scored a superb unbeaten double century as the team chalked up an eighth straight C Division East win. In the same game fellow opener Anthony Griffiths (101) and number three bat Robbie Powell (102 not out) also scored centuries as the team racked up a whopping 443-1 against Budleigh Salterton 2nds. Over at Bradninch, Powell’s brother Dan, was five runs shy of his own three figures score – though he was put down four times – when he was out to a stunning catch. Despite it being a super Saturday for the 2nd XI, it proved to be a not so successful day for the 1st and 3rd XIs as they both lost their games.

In this week’s Sunday Facebook Sidmouth CC round-up we simply have to start with that extraordinary show at the Fortfield by the 2nd XI

Read more

Honiton RFC have made a major signing ahead of the forthcoming 2018/19 campaign.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:20

Exmouth Town manager Kevin Hill has been busy recruiting new players to the Southern Road ranks, though many of the new men will be familiar faces to the Town supporters.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:15

Axminster Gymnastics Club has a busy summer ahead, kicking off with a bingo fundraiser,held at Axminster Guildhall and organised by Emma Seogalutze of Macsorsons Fish Shop, which made an amazing £1,056.00 for club funds. Many other businesses donated produce for hampers, including Halff Shop, Complete Meats, Colyton Butchers, Washingpool farm shop and Tesco.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:00

Gareth Southgate’s promising young England side look ready to make a mark on the world stage and help atone for the disappointments of recent tournaments.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:13

The 2018 version of the Tony Miller Memorial Match saw Dan Murnane’s ‘Mods’ taking on Shane Featherstone’s ‘Vets’ at Cloakham Lawns, writes Dick Sturch.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:11

Sidmouth bowler Jane Painter was tasked with a match at Honiton in the next round of the County two-wood singles competition, writes Carol Smith.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:09

The busy Madeira season continued last week with mixed results for the club’s representative teams, writes Jenny Smith.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:08

The past week saw three much-enjoyed friendly games played by Madeira bowlers, writes Jenny Smith.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°C

Most Read Sport

Place a family notice

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

East Devon 24 regular newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

Devon's trusted business finder

FFind planning applications