Marathon first for Southend mum

10 April 2018
Karen Drew - London Marathon

A Southend mum will run the Virgin Money London Marathon in aid of the Essex & Herts Ambulance (EHAAT) in April.

Karen Drew ran two half marathons in Southend and Brentwood last year, but it is the first time she will be taking on the challenge of the London event. She was inspired to take part after her eldest son, Jacob, now 18, was involved in a motorcycle accident on 31st March, 2017.

Karen said: “I knew of the Air Ambulance but didn’t realise it was a charity. They attended to my son when he had the accident. He had two collapsed lungs at the scene and was put to sleep and flown to the Royal London Hospital. Amazingly, a week later he walked out of hospital and he is now back to full health, but doesn’t remember the accident at all.

“EHAAT saved his life and I feel I have a debt to repay. This is my way of doing it.”

A week after her son’s accident, Karen’s husband Steve ran a 10,000 metre race and raised over £2,000 for the Charity.

Karen has been following a training programme which involves track running, hills and sprints, running as part of a club three times a week and completing one run on her own each week.

She admits training is gruelling, but she can see her progress.

Karen explained: “Last week I hit a bit of a wall. I bought some new trainers, which I thought were going to solve all my problems. I wore those for a 9 mile run, but ended up in tears and walked and ran the last 5.5 miles. After a week I did 10 miles in the same trainers and absolutely loved it. That’s the first bad day I’ve had.”

As well as a Just Giving page, Karen’s fundraising efforts include holding a charity race night and bucket collections. Steve will also be supporting the fundraising drive with a motorcycle ride, delivering Easter eggs to children’s wards from Essex to the Royal London Hospital where Jacob was treated. Karen’s parents are also getting involved by taking her sponsorship forms around to friends and neighbours.

However there is one thing Karen wants to change before the big day.

“I’m still enjoying the cake and coffee far too much,” laughed Karen.

Sabi Stafford, Essex Fundraising Manager at Essex & Herts Air Ambulance, said: “We are thrilled Karen has chosen to support us. We understand the hard work and persistence that goes into training for and achieving such a challenge and we will be showing our support all the way.

“It is thanks to people like Karen that our Charity can continue saving lives across Essex and Hertfordshire.”

Supporters can donate to Karen’s Just Giving page at

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Essex & Herts Air Ambulance Trust is a registered charity in England and Wales (1108989). Registered company in England and Wales (05397840). Registered address: Flight House, The Business Centre, Earls Colne Business Park, Earls Colne, Colchester CO6 2NS.

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