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Start spreading the news – Cure Leukaemia’s intrepid team of four runners have raised over £15,000 for the charity after taking part in the New York Marathon.
The quartet of Nick Smith, Bikramjit Singh, Costa Evlogimenos and Julien Cazorla were the Kings of the Hill in completing the marathon in the Big Apple on the first Sunday of November to raise a fantastic figure for Cure Leukaemia.
Nick, CEO of Elonex Outdoor Media, who are one of Cure Leukaemia’s charity partners, said the event was packed with ‘memorable moments.’
“From the moment you cross the bridge from Staten Island right at the start of the race, running the New York City Marathon for Cure Leukaemia is an amazing experience!” he said.
“Coming off that bridge after just two miles, you’re greeted by a wall of noise with helicopters hovering above, bands playing and huge crowds cheering you on.
“It’s a noise that never ceases as you run through all the different boroughs of New York, and one that absolutely carries you through the whole of the race.
“There are so many memorable moments, the streets are packed with great people having fun and there’s even a Pretty Woman moment when you hear the cry ‘Welcome to Brooklyn’!
“Running in the New York City Marathon is truly inspiring and I’m proud to have done so for Cure Leukaemia.”
Bik is a long-time supporter of Cure Leukaemia who helped with the campaign to become one of Deutsche Bank’s two Charities of the Year whilst he was working there, and had a particularly poignant reason for taking part in the marathon.
“My cousin Inderpal Singh, known as GP, was diagnosed with leukaemia five years ago – he had his battle with the disease and is sadly no longer with us after passing away in September,” says Bik.
“Ever since his diagnosis I have been involved with the charity in supporting their events, and it was the CEO James (McLaughlin) who persuaded me, at the third time of asking, to do the marathon.
“I have never been a runner or done anything like this before!
“But I remember when I first met Geoff Thomas (Cure Leukaemia patron), how much I was inspired by the challenges and everything he has done for the charity since he battled leukaemia 15 years ago.
“I was looking at all these endurance events that people like Geoff and others do after being given a second chance at life, and started thinking what was stopping me from having a go? The answer was nothing!
“I really enjoyed it, and the scenery around New York was spectacular, especially heading over the bridge at the start which was amazing.
“There were some really tough parts, particularly from miles 17 to 23, but during that time I distracted myself from the pain by thinking about my cousin, all the leukaemia patients, Cure Leukaemia, Geoff, and all the people who had sponsored me.
“Crossing the finish line was emotional, and I did shed a tear afterwards, but there wasn’t a huge celebration or punching the air, because the fight goes on.
“I had completed my personal challenge, but there are still so many people undergoing treatment, and as a ‘CL family’, we need to keep on going to overcome this disease once and for all.”
Costa Evlogimenos is a regular half marathon runner who also takes on the full distance every three or four years. With Cure Leukaemia being one of Deutsche Bank’s two Charities of the Year, and Costa working for Deutsche Bank, it was fitting that he should be part of the New York Marathon team.
But Costa also had another and very personal motivation to raise funds, saying: “Over the last four years, I have seen how research and the application of pioneering treatments can really work.
“A close childhood friend of mine who was given days to live after being diagnosed with a form of leukaemia in 2014 has now made a full recovery.
“That’s still an unimaginable event in itself, only possible through the dedication and effort of a number of healthcare resources.
“Under clear blue and bright sunny skies in New York, I took part in one of the best events I have attended in my 10 years of running to celebrate those who gave my friend a second chance for him to see blue skies as well.”
Completing ‘Team CL’ in New York was Julien, formerly of Deutsche Bank, who in turn was completing his own epic challenge which saw him also run the Chicago Marathon just five weeks prior to New York.
Julien, who completed both marathons in just over three hours apiece, said:
“I am very happy and proud I was able to complete these two marathons and support Cure Leukaemia.”