Barnardo’s ‘jelly baby’ runner who took on ‘The Grizzly’ now tries London Marathon

Gabriel Hall... ready to take on London Marathon

Gabriel Hall... ready to take on London Marathon - Credit: Barnardo's charity

A children’s charity manager still recovering after he “hit the wall” racing ‘The Grizzly’—a 20-mile all terrain race through the bogs and hills of Devon—is now hoping to beat Sunday’s London Marathon to raise cash for Barnardo’s.

Gabriel Hall... ready to take on London Marathon

Gabriel Hall... ready to take on London Marathon - Credit: Barnardo's charity

Gabriel Hall, 44, manager at The Hub skills centre run by Barnardo’s charity at Stepney Green, in London’s deprived East End, has been cutting back on training runs to help his legs recover.

The father-of-three battled through knee-high mud, along shingle beaches and up steep slippery slopes during The Grizzly last month.

“The Grizzly was really tough,” he admitted. “I ‘hit the wall’ for the first time in my life and only made it to the end after forcing myself to eat handfulls of jelly babies.

“The London marathon is much flatter, but quite a lot longer.”

1866... Thomas Barnardo (inset) and one of first waifs he rescued on streets of Whitechapel

1866... Thomas Barnardo (inset) and one of first waifs he rescued on streets of Whitechapel - Credit: Barnardo's charity


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Gabriel’s ‘day job’ is manager at The Hub, close to where the charity began 150 years ago helping the destitute children on the streets of Whitechapel, and trains today’s disadvantaged teenagers in construction, money management, maths, English and ICT.

Barnardo’s director Lynn Gradwell said: “Gabriel and his team make sure youngsters growing up in often-challenging circumstances have the best chances—all in the same neighbourhood that our founder Thomas Barnardo began our work.”

The charity raises £250,000 in the London Marathon every year and is hoping to draw donations online for Sunday’s 26-mile run to help fund projects supporting vulnerable youngsters, including those leaving care or who have experienced sexual exploitation.

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