Emunah not bowled over by rollover
WHEN LAST year’s marathon fell on the second day of Pesach, a number of Jewish charities decided not to field runners, missing out on the revenue from sponsorship. Race organisers promised that unused places could be “rolled over” to the 2017 marathon, as is allowed when charities do not fully take up their annual allocation.
But affected charities say they have been unable to fill the extra spots because of the difficulty in finding additional participants.
At British Emunah, director Deborah Nathan noted that “carrying over places is fine in principle. But being able to fill double the number is very hard. There was effectively a glut as many Jewish charities had carried over places and the pool of potential runners within our community is limited.
“We hope that by rolling these places forward in future years, we will eventually be able to use them all and recoup the funds we would expect to raise. We are already actively looking for runners to take part in the 2018 London Marathon.”
Emunah asks runners to bring in a minimum £1,500 in sponsorship and the £12,000 raised from its 2017 team will go towards a new dormitory for teenage boys at its children’s centre in Afula, northern Israel.
Leeds-based retailer Jonny Gould was the the quickest finisher in just under three hours 50 minutes and the other Emunah runners were accountant Marc Jackson, Leeds City Council worker Claire Gothelf, solicitor David Bondt, accountant Roey Freilich and marathon veteran Flora Frank, who also represented Norwood. Ms Gothelf “got to six miles and wanted to pack it in — it was so hard. I started off too quickly but I did it [in 5:19] and there was a huge sense of satisfaction. I was running in memory of my dad Harvey, who passed away earlier this year. I had a picture of him on my back.”
Prestwich-based Mr Bondt, 33, was carrying on a family tradition of supporting Emunah. “I was with my [late] grandma Irene when they opened the Beit Bondt building at the Emunah Family Counselling and Day Care Centre in Netivot.”
As for the race, completed in 5:09, “the training app on my phone showed I had actually done 28 miles. The first five miles were OK. Then it was tough as you had to weave in and out of runners — and at times you had to walk. But the crowd was amazing and the sun was shining. It was a good day and I would highly recommend it.”
David Bondt and Claire Gothelf