Running a marathon (26.2 miles) as we all know is a hard task in itself. Most train for months in preparation for completing what many would consider a great achievement, should you make it to the finish line. There is however, always one who goes beyond the human limits. Eliud Kipchoge ring a bell? Not this time. April 5th marked the culmination of Kate Jayden surpassing a world mark as she completed 96 marathons in 96 days, all in aid of three charities – The Refugee Council, Trussell Trust (the U.K. food bank charity) and The Hygiene Bank charity.
Last year Jayden, who works full time as a Compliance Monitoring Officer in Financial Services, decided to set out on a 100-day journey to run the distance from Aleppo to Dover for two main reasons, to highlight the journey of a refugee and to show the issues of UK poverty both for Britons and that which refugees must face.
The poverty line currently sits at £141 per week after housing costs and destitution is £70 a week. Refugees live on £39 a week and are not allowed to work.
Talking about her reasons for the attempt, Jayden stated, “In times where it has all too often felt like division seems to conquer and rule, it felt appropriate to try and make people human again and reiterate the human connection between people. A few days in I was encouraged to continue doing my runs as single marathon runs to beat the world mark, which stood at 95, and so began the challenge of working full time, running a marathon every day, learning more about important causes and fundraising too!”
Partway through her attempt, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began and unbeknown to her was how important her marathon mission would become for her chosen charities. She added, “as millions were displaced, inflation and food rises came about, fuel prices increased and as such the needs of refugees increased, as did the resources of food banks and hygiene banks became more in demand than ever as more people in the U.K. are deemed as living in poverty than before.”
Besides her conscious efforts to raise money for the previously mentioned charities, Jayden also found an additional benefit in increasing awareness of the visibility of autistic athletes and the issues they face, as well as being a viable representation for the LGBT community in sports.
On Tuesday, April 5th at 9.00 am, Jayden surpassed the goal she set herself one year ago as she ran her 96th marathon in and around the countryside of Harington in the Peak District finishing in front of a cheering local crowd.
The current fundraising currently sits at the £18,000 mark and any donations towards the three charities for Jayden completing this remarkable feat can be made here.