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Fundraising for research at the Edinburgh Marathon Festival (EMF)

1 June 2015

Jenny Thoms, a runner with close personal links to the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine (CRM), ran the full Edinburgh marathon at the weekend, while her auntie, Marjorie Thoms, ran the half-marathon, both raising funds for CRM and supporting our vital research into degenerative diseases.

Together with Jenny's father Pete, and brother and sister Kenny and Catherine, they are continuing the Thoms family's generous support to the Centre started by Anne-Elaine.

Jenny and Pete Thoms

Anne-Elaine was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) in 1996 and sadly passed away in December 2013.

Speaking of her marathon experience Jenny said:

"It was a great atmosphere and all the supporters made the difference cheering us all along the way. My fiancé Peter, my Dad, sister Catherine, brother-in-law Andy, Uncle Nick and Aunty Kefah were all there at various points along the way to cheer me on which really helped me to keep going! The first 20 miles were great but the last 6 were very difficult as the wind got up and my legs felt like lead! Still, I kept thinking I had to get to the end to make all the sponsorship worthwhile!"

Together Jenny and Marjorie have raised over £1000 in sponsorship, adding to the £5000 already raised by the family. More fundraising plans are in the pipeline with Pete hoping to take on the Moray half-marathon later this year.

Another group of runners, researchers from CRM, took on the challenge of running in various races during the running festival.

Members of 'Team Williams', a collective of postdocs and PhD students from Anna Williams and other lab groups at CRM ran either the 10k, half-marathon, or full marathon raising money for MS Society UK.

Team Williams

Catriona Ford, who ran the 10k, said:

"The experience was fantastic! The atmosphere on the day was really inspiring and after months of training and we all made great times. Of our team, 8 ran the 10k while we had one runner each in both the half-marathon and full marathon. It’s been amazing to be able to give back to the MS Society who fund so much of our lab’s research."

The team have now raised over £1200, exceeding their £1000 target.

CRM Principal Investigator, Bruno Peault, also ran the half-marathon event:

"We are generously supported by the British Heart Foundation and I wanted to show my support and appreciation for their work by taking part in the Marathon Festival. The run went really well and luckily the weather forecast of heavy rain turned out to be wrong. Just some drizzle for a fresh start, then all dry along the road!"

Speaking about the all the activity this weekend, Prof Charles ffrench-Constant, CRM Director commented:

"Congratulations and thanks to all involved for their efforts in raising awareness for degenerative diseases such as MS and directly or indirectly supporting our research into these diseases."