Emunah first-time runners and marathon ‘vets’ brave the heatwave

23 April 2018 | Fundraising, Head Office

First-time London marathon entrants Sarah Tarzi and Dan Brazil who ran for Emunah were excited and relieved to finish Sunday’s 40-kilometre race. Together with the efforts of experienced marathon runners Claire Gothelf and Flora Frank, Emunah homes and services caring for at-risk children in Israel will benefit from almost £10,000.

The first-time runners were the fastest with Sarah Tarzi finishing in 4:23 and Dan Brazil in 4:29; both respectable times given it was the capital’s hottest marathon on record.

“The marathon was awesome – an experience I’ll never forget, said Dan Brazil, a sales director from Bushey. “The atmosphere was brilliant with the music and all the people shouting out your name. Having trained in a very cold winter I wasn’t used to running in the heat. The sun was relentless. My legs ‘went’ at around 20 miles and I started to fight my own internal battle but I kept going. I had hoped to finish in sub four hours but had to modify my pace”.

Having started running in order to lose weight (he’s now four stone lighter); he prepared for the big day with two 10km runs and the Watford half-marathon.

Dan Brazil added: “It was coincidental that I know Alison Cohen the events executive so it was Emunah that found me. It is a cause that I can really relate to as a father of three girls – and now I am a champion of the charity. I beat my £1.5k target and raised over £2k with more coming in and will get match funding up to £1k bringing it to over £3k. I am on a high.”

Hendon-based Sarah Tarzi, a clinical psychologist, nearly pulled out because “I had a headache since the day before and was feeling very unwell. Then I thought I can’t let Emunah down and it was the most amazing experience. My headache went as soon as I started – I think it must have been stress and worrying about the hot weather.”

“People poured cups of water over me at every opportunity and it was really fun. There is nothing like it. And because Emunah gave me a shirt with my name on it people were calling out to me, it was very motivating. I wanted to finish in four hours but I am very happy with my time given the extreme heat – and relieved it is over.”

Sarah was “grateful” to her sponsors having raised over £2k – “the most I have ever managed. “

The Emunah veterans took things slowly with Flora Frank who is 70+ and Claire Gothelf, who is in her early 50s, finishing in 7:07 and 6:45 respectively.

Great grandmother and Jewish educator Flora Frank entered the race in memory of her husband Herbert, who passed away six months ago. “This was my 37th marathon and my hardest,” said the Edgware resident. “It took longer than usual because the heat got to me, so I went very, very slowly. I don’t walk, I run. Thank G-d I got through it and I’m fine. People were so kind and came out of their homes with water… I had a good breakfast and ate bananas on the route to keep me going. It enjoyable but challenging as I didn’t want to overdo it or to dehydrate.”

Leeds City Council worker Claire Gothelf travelled to the capital for her fourth London Marathon and her third for Emunah. Claire is indebted to another runner ‘Jane’ who looked after her when she became unwell due to the heat. “This was my slowest marathon to date,” said Claire. “I felt dizzy and the paramedics came over to check me out – they were amazing. Without Jane, I would never have finished – I don’t know who she was running for.”

Claire’s inspiration comes from her 81-year-old mother, Margaret Gothelf, a long-term Emunah supporter and her love of Israel. Her fundraising efforts are still in progress “I am appealing to the generosity of the Leeds Jewish community to help me.”

British Emunah director Deborah Nathan said: “We are immensely grateful to Dan, Sarah, Claire and Flora for braving the heat – they are all heroes. A big thank you to everyone who has kindly agreed to sponsor them in support of Emunah’s work with children in Israel.”

To see some of the photos of the day click here

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