Mum who took up running in lockdown becomes first to represent The Vegan Society at London Marathon

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» Mum who took up running in lockdown becomes first to represent The Vegan Society at London Marathon

A mum who only started running during the Covid-19 pandemic has become the first person in history to secure a charity spot on behalf of The Vegan Society at the London Marathon.

Isle of Wight’s Amy Milford-Wood, who made the switch from vegetarian to vegan in February 2020, is aiming to raise £2,000 ahead of the event on 3 October.

The London Marathon charity scheme has grown over the years and now includes more than 750 British charities, with a total of 15,000 guaranteed places. However, it is the first time The Vegan Society has been able to secure one of the spots.

The 42-year-old, who says research into the egg and dairy industries was the final motivation to embrace a fully vegan lifestyle, only started running during the first national lockdown. With government restrictions in place, she was struggling spending so much time at home so decided to download the Couch to 5K app on her phone. Amy’s first 5K took her 50 minutes, a run she has since cut down to 32 minutes and is now aiming to finish the 26.2 mile (42 km) marathon in under 6 hours.  

On representing The Vegan Society, Amy Milford-Wood, who cites fellow marathon runner and vegan Fiona Oakes as her biggest inspiration, said: “It really was a no-brainer for me. Both veganism and running have helped me so much over what has been a particularly difficult and challenging year for everyone."

“I think The Vegan Society have done brilliant things supporting vegans to achieve equal status, for example in the legal case to have ethical veganism recognised as a protected philosophical belief, and in campaigning to have public institutions like schools and hospitals offer vegan options. As a relatively new vegan I’ve found there’s so many helpful resources on The Vegan Society’s website. The Vegan and Thriving campaign includes delicious healthy recipes and breaks down plant-based nutrition into practical tips too. I want to raise money for the charity as a thank you for everything they do.”

Ruby Jones, Fundraiser and Partnerships Manager at The Vegan Society, added: “It’s fantastic that The Vegan Society has been able to secure a charity place at the 2021 London Marathon – especially at a time when excitement around veganism is at an all-time high.”

“We’re still a few months away from the main event but everyone here is already so unbelievably proud of everything Amy has achieved. She’s living proof that veganism is not only better for our health but also the environment and animals too. We will be cheering her on from the side-lines in October!”

On top of her Virgin Money Giving page Amy is also planning several fundraising events including a vegan-only cake stall, a raffle with vegan prizes donated by local businesses, a fancy dress hill-challenge and a gig starring a local comedy-music group.

You can read more about Amy's story and make a donation. Feeling inspired? You can register to raise funds for The Vegan Society through another running event.

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