Helfgotts’ thank you
THE SON and grandson of Ben Helfgott, one of “The Boys” brought to Britain at the end of the Second World War, ran as a thank you to World Jewish Relief for helping to rescue him. Mr Helfgott was one the 732 orphaned Holocaust survivors who came here under the auspices of WJR, then known as the Central British Fund.
Maurice Helfgott said his run also marked a major birthday. “What better way to celebrate turning 50 than to run a marathon in my home city with my son to show how ready I am for the next 50 years.
“It has been a great thing to do together. We encouraged each other to train and got ourselves fit in the process.”
His finishing time was just over five hours, an hour more than son Sam. “I wasn’t the slightest bit worried about being beaten,” he said. “Sam was always going to come first. I was only 20 per cent slower than someone who is less than half my age. I’m happy with that.”
Sam Helfgott, 20, said he had experienced difficult moments during the race. “You just have to make sure you don’t give in.”
The Helfgotts were mentioned in Brendan Foster’s farewell marathon commentary for the BBC. “It was pretty special to find out that had happened,” Sam Helfgott said. “He knew my dad and our family story. For him to sign off with that is pretty cool.”
The pair raised £14,000 from a WJR total of £44,000.
Lucy Barnett, Victoria Herman, Joseph Davis, Camilla de Kare-Silver, Lewis Nelken, Mikhael Giabicani, Jonathan Levy, Tal Gurevich, Haim Nuriel, Gady Piazza, Shoshi Silverblatt, Gavriella Simson, Justin Samuels, Daniel Susser, Natalie Tydeman, Jun Wu, Spencer Simons, Daniel Kasmir and Eli Kasmir also ran for the charity.
Maurice and Sam Helfgott