Hemel Hempstead runner hopes to raise hundreds at the London Marathon to support working animals

The charity provides free veterinary care to working animals in the world’s poorest communities

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 9:37 am

A runner from Hemel Hempstead is preparing to take on the London Marathon next month to support working animals in the world's poorest countries.

Sam Gomm will take on the 26.2 mile course in London on Sunday, October 3, and hopes to raise £500 for animal charity - SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad).

The Virgin Money London Marathon will return next month to its iconic central London course - 889 days after it was last held in April 2019, having been cancelled last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sam will take on the 26.2 mile course in London on Sunday, October 3, and hopes to raise £500 for SPANA

The 45-year-old will be taking on the route from Blackheath in southeast London, to the finish line at The Mall. She will be joining fellow runners through Greenwich before passing over the Thames as they cross Tower Bridge, passing famous landmarks such as the London Eye and Big Ben, where thousands of spectators will be cheering them on.

SPANA is a charity that provides free veterinary care to working animals in the world’s poorest communities, improving the welfare of donkeys, horses, camels, elephants and other animals, which enable poverty-stricken families to earn a small income and survive.

Last year, the charity treated more than 283,000 sick and injured animals in 28 developing countries worldwide.

Sam said: “I feel very privileged to be raising money and running for SPANA at the London Marathon this year.

The charity provides free veterinary care to working animals in the world’s poorest communities

"I am passionate about animal welfare and have great admiration for their work helping the world’s donkeys, mules, horses and camels, in some of the world’s poorest communities.

“Running for such a great cause, as well as being part of a race that holds a Guinness World Record as the largest annual fundraising event in the world, makes this a very special day for me.”

Sam will be one of 50,000 runners taking on the 26.2 mile course this year.

She has been running competitively with a club since 2009, and had always wanted to run the London Marathon, having watched it on the television for years. She started off training in basic clothing and trainers around her hometown, and was running her first 10k within six months.

Since then, she has not looked back, and her upcoming participation in the run will be her fourth London Marathon, and 15th marathon since 2011 – three of these were this year alone.

Most recently Sam took part in the ‘St Albans Stampede’, a 12-hour endurance run where participants cover as many four-mile laps as they can within this time. She completed seven, which totalled 28 miles in six hours.

Sam added: “I’m feeling great at the moment, and my training is going to plan. I can’t wait to get on the start line and do this!”

To help Sam raise money for SPANA visit her fundraising page - uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SamanthaGomm - all of the funds raised will help SPANA in its work helping working animals and preventing suffering.