Published on January 23, 2023

You might have seen that Mary-Antonia Taylor, who teaches North Hertfordshire College’s Level 3 Diploma in Theatrical, Special Effects, Hair and Media Makeup, is going to be running the London Marathon this year! Since launching her fundraising campaign in November, Mary has raised an amazing £561 for Brain Research UK in memory of her late brother, Dr Theo Dare.

As well as being an amazing teacher for her course (and that’s a fact – she won one of NHC’s value awards at the Winter staff conference!), Mary’s been busy getting stuck into training ahead of her upcoming run.

With only a few months to go until the marathon, we caught up with Mary to find out more about how her preparation is going:

So, how has the training been so far?

“I had to stop training for a bit as I got poorly and was signed off work. But I’m proud to say I’m back to it and enjoying the process!

“The biggest challenge at the moment has been believing in myself… I wouldn’t have applied to do the marathon if I didn’t believe that I was capable, but my focus is on my brother, and I’m determined to make a change and contribute to funding valuable research. I’ve been amazed at how much awareness has increased this year for the cause.”

What has been the biggest challenge in your training so far?

“The mental barriers can be really hard to overcome. The big thing that’s getting me through is thinking about my brother. Theo made such a difference in science and research throughout his career. I watched my brother study for his PhD all whilst still working full-time, looking after his house and kids, mentoring people, and lecturing at universities. Thinking about that, there’s no reason why I can’t try and achieve and balance everything else that I’ve got on my plate (I hope!).”

What has helped you push through any mental barriers in your training?

“Meditation and self-help books have been a must for me. I’ve also had so many people reach out and share their stories from when they ran the marathon and it’s really helped. Having other people believe in me means so much and I really appreciate it.”

Are you planning on doing any big landmark events as part of your training?

“I’ve applied for RideLondon-Essex, a big bike riding event that’s happening in May. I love cycling and spinning has become a regular part of my training schedule.

“I’m planning to run a half-marathon, and my partner and I have been running together and we’re very close to a half now, which is great. I’m applying for a half-marathon in Cambridge for March, too – fingers crossed I get a place!”

How have your friends and family been supporting you as you train?

“My friends and family have been fabulous in their support. My three brothers, mum, dad, and daughters in particular have been really great. My friends have always been like family to me, and they’ve been supporting me along the way and offering to train with me in different ways. Sometimes they’ll cycle alongside me as a run so that we can do it together… I feel lucky to have so much support.

“Theo worked at GSK, and they’ve been fabulous and supportive on this journey too, I really appreciate it.”


Best of luck to Mary with the rest of your training!


If you would like to support Mary on her fundraising journey, you can donate to her official fundraising page here: https://2023tcslondonmarathon.enthuse.com/pf/mary-antonia-taylor