14 March 2023

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Race for life!

Sandra and Sarah Goodwin London Marathon

Mum and daughter team Sandra and Sarah Goodwin ran the London Marathon last October, after Sarah’s granddad was cared for at the hospice.

Mum and daughter team Sandra and Sarah Goodwin decided to run the London Marathon on behalf of St Christopher’s last October, after Sarah’s granddad was cared for at the hospice in April 2021.

Bill chose to stop active treatment for his illness in hospital, so was moved to the care of our Sydenham site.

After he had settled in, the family knew he’d made the right decision, with Sarah saying:

“The difference in him, how comfortable he looked and how he seemed in himself, was just night and day.”

She continued “He turned around to my mum and asked “How much is this costing me?’ because he was getting such a high quality of care that he was convinced it would be costing him a fortune. He couldn’t believe it was all free.”

Caring for him up until his death was helped by the fact Sarah’s dad, Colin, volunteers on our wards and even happened to be there the day his father-in-law was admitted, which provided extra comfort at a difficult time.

Later on, and looking to channel a particularly stressful day at work into something positive, Sarah decided to run the marathon on the spur of the moment and applied whilst thinking that she probably wouldn’t get in due to the huge demand. After Sarah was accepted, Sandra also signed up as a fundraiser for the hospice and they began training together, aiming to raise over £2,000 for St Christopher’s.

An experienced runner herself, Sandra has already run the London, Edinburgh and Paris marathons previously, so was well placed to help her daughter prepare for the gruelling 26.2 mile course. There was also help from St Christopher’s through organised training runs, and even a session with a running coach to assist with technique and pacing.

The training runs proved to be a great unexpected bonding opportunity, as it allowed mum and daughter to spend more time together, sharing one goal even if there were times when they needed to say to each other “Right, we’re not going to talk until the top of this hill!”

On the day, it was their personal team cheerleader in the way of Colin that got them through the hardest parts, cheering them on and greeting them with a well-earned coffee at the end of the race.

So will they be back for more? Even before they tackled the marathon together, Sandra was trying to recruit her daughter for races, and with a biggie now under her belt, Sarah told us:

“Just let me recover from these 26 miles before you sign me up for another one!”

While we’ve got all our runners for this year’s London Marathon, we’ve got spaces for the Berlin Marathon if you fancy making your running and fundraising a European affair? Find out more here.

If you’re interested in running, swimming or cycling for St Christopher’s, please check out our Fundraising event pages or email

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