United Molasses

UM duo complete London Marathon as part of Great Molasses Challenge

Posted on 29 April, 2024

Two members of the UM Group team successfully completed last Sunday’s London Marathon.

Keen runner Simon Markham, Head of Molasses GB, and first-time marathon runner Phil McEvoy, MD of UM Terminals, took part in the famous race past some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Their efforts were part of the Great Molasses Challenge, UM Group’s major fundraising campaign on behalf of charity Farm Africa.

The unique challenge involves UM colleagues covering the distance of the first ever UM molasses shipment in 1912 – a total of 4820 miles (7712km) from the Dominican Republic to Hull. The Challenge will finish in Hull on June 9th when a number of colleagues will be taking part in the Hull 10K.

Simon, who ran a personal best marathon time of 3 hours 28 minutes, said: “The London Marathon is always a great day and it never ceases to amaze me the sheer breadth of the charities that people are running for.

“There are so many people running for so many different causes, all with their own positive messages. As you run along the route, you see so many other runners, many running in memory of loved ones and often with their photos pinned to their shirts. It is incredibly moving.

“The crowds that turn out to watch are also so impressive. Even if you aren’t into running, it is such a good event to come out and watch. It was also great to have friends from the local village as well as colleagues and representatives from Farm Africa cheering us on.”

Not only did Simon achieve his personal best marathon time, he also broke the Good for Age qualifying time for his age group (60-64) by 9 minutes. This gives Simon a chance of automatic entry into next year’s event.

Simon, who is a member of Horsham Joggers running club, added: “Running and being a member of a running club does you good in so many ways. You feel better physically and mentally and you get to meet so many people from various walks of life.”

Until a few months ago, Phil had never run more than a couple of miles, so signing up for the London Marathon was a massive undertaking.

Phil said: “I’m not a natural build for running long distances and had always preferred going to the gym.

“Training hadn’t been easy and I’d been suffering from sciatica which also flared up on the day.

“Having said that, it was a great experience, a bit like a Royal Jubilee with so many people lining the streets to cheer you on. You also get to see different parts of London that you wouldn’t normally see.

“Six months ago, I couldn’t run more than a mile or two, so to complete the London Marathon in just over 6 hours, is a massive personal achievement.

“It was great having Simon training for the marathon. He was like a coach and mentor helping me to get ready for the day.

“We’re both very grateful to everyone who has supported us and donated. We are aiming to raise as much money as we can for Farm Africa between now and the end of the Great Molasses Challenge in June.”

You can donate to the Great Molasses Challenge via the following links:

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