TCS London Marathon: ‘The Pride’ did us proud!

4 October 2022


Born Free’s Carina Hibbitt congratulates our Run Wild ‘pride’, who took part in the world’s most famous road-race in aid of Born Free this October.

A selection of photos of this year's runners in their Born Free vests

The Born Free team were bursting with pride as we watched our incredible group of runners embark on this year’s TCS London Marathon on Sunday 2 October 2022. 

With near-perfect running conditions, the Run Wild Team set off in waves to complete the challenging 26 mile route past London’s many iconic sights. Running in support of our lion conservation and rescue work during our Year of the Lion, the camaraderie and sense of purpose was evident, with runners sharing training tips, kit suggestions; cheerleading and championing each other to put their best foot forward.

This year, our amazing team of eight; Ritchi Edwards, Allison Stuckless, Catriona Wiles, Matthew Bigg, James Dawe, Panos Karan, Roberto Fregonara, and Adam Martin, hailed from Italy, USA and the UK. The London Marathon is no walk in the park, and the effort required should not be underestimated. There was blood, sweat and, if not tears, a few quips of “I’m so glad it’s over!” However, the team came together and smashed it on the day!

Panos Karan had rallied from a being hospitalised with Covid complications, missing the Stockholm marathon as a result, to run the London Marathon for Born Free. He said “I’m so excited to be running for the foundation and to be part of a team. Running can be a very lonely sport but being part of this team makes me feel stronger.” 

Ritchi Edwards, now in his third year running for Born Free, added: “Well done team Run Wild. Super proud to have shared the streets of London with you today. I hope to meet you all soon. We made noise for Born Free and all that they stand for in the Year of The Lion. Well done Born Free, it’s an emotional feeling standing tall with you for the animals.”

Allison Stuckless donned a spectacular Macaw outfit as a nod to her bird rewilding work in Argentina. She said: “It was so much fun and an honour to run for Born Free. Thank you for letting me in and giving me a chance to participate in such a momentous goal that I’ve always wanted to do”

Fundraising for lions was particularly poignant for runner Catriona Wiles, as her dad Tony was Born Free’s Big Cat Consultant for close to 30 years until his recent retirement. She said: “I am delighted to have run my first London Marathon as part of the #runwildteam in honour of my dad, in respect of Born Free Co-Founder Bill Travers MBE, and in memory of my mother and lifelong Born Free supporter Robin.”

One of our other runners, Adam Martin claimed, that running “honoured the lion spirit within him.”

Born Free Co-Founder and Executive President, Will Travers OBE, along with Virginia McKenna OBE, applauded the runners for digging deep and going the distance, saying. “They say that in tough times we need to go the extra mile. What an understatement as far as you are concerned! Thank you for going above and beyond for Born Free. I did the London Marathon many years ago and I know what a challenge it is, but every step brings help to animals in need. Thank you. You are stars. Well done Team Run Wild”.

Joanne Bartholomew, who is Events Manager for Born Free, said: “Thank you for running today with your legs but especially for running with your heart. Every pound you’ve raised is going to make such a difference.  We and the animals thank you. Well Done!”

Born Free’s Managing Director, Karen Botha, was at the marathon to personally congratulate each runner. She added: “It is incredibly inspiring to me that ordinary people put themselves through this type of endurance event in the name of doing good, and that they chose Born Free. So, on behalf of Born Free, thank you. I will certainly be volunteering for the London Marathon on 23rd April 2023 to show my appreciation”.

Feeling inspired? We’re already looking for dedicated and compassionate members of our Run Wild Team for next year! Perhaps you’d like to put your best foot forward and take on a running challenge?

More of a cheerer than a runner? You can join our volunteer team and show your support to the amazing Born Free runners at this year’s London Marathon. Contact for details.