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Farm Africa London Marathon runners raise more than £40,000 for Coffee Is Life appeal

29 April 2019

Farm Africa London Marathon runners raise more than £40,000 for Coffee Is Life appeal

Ten brave runners took on yesterday’s London Marathon for Farm Africa, raising more than £40,000 for our Coffee is Life appeal.

The UK Government will match all donations from the UK public. Donations will support Farm Africa projects across eastern Africa, and the matched funding unlocked from the UK government will directly fund a Farm Africa project that will give women in Kanungu in western Uganda the opportunity to make a decent living from coffee farming.

Ugandan coffee farmer Joy

The runners included Minette Batters (pictured below), President of the National Farmers Union (NFU) and Stuart Roberts (pictured at top of page), Vice President of the NFU. Minette crossed the finish line after four hours 27 minutes running. Stuart was beset with an ankle injury, but after treatment was able to resume the race, which he finished in six hours 34 minutes.

Minette Batters after finishing the 2019 London Marathon

The NFU team, which also included NFU North East Director Adam Bedford and former national flood adviser Martin Rogers, has together raised more than £28,300 for Farm Africa. Sponsor the ‘Running Farmers’ >

First across the finish line yesterday was Owen Keogh, who completed the race in an impressive three hours and 38 minutes. Sponsor Owen >

Owen Keogh running the 2019 London Marathon

Hot on Owen’s heels was Welsh farmer Will Evans, who ran the race in three hours 41 minutes. Will had an enthusiastic cheering squad made up of his wife Sarah and their four young daughters, who wore matching yellow T-shirts they had decorated to look like Will’s Farm Africa running vest, and waved a hand-made banner saying ‘Go Daddy!’.

Will Evans kids

Will is the host of the Rock and Roll Farming Podcast, which last week put out a London Marathon Special, and in March featured an interview with beef and sheep farmer, Rachel Hallos about her visit to Farm Africa's projects in western Kenya. Will has raised more than £5,400 for the appeal. Sponsor Will >

Next up was Martin Rogers of the Running Farmers, who clocked up a race time of three hours and 46 minutes. Martin, a student at Cambridge University, and former national flood adviser at the NFU, chose to support Farm Africa because he loves “what it stands for and its work both on increasing the independence and resilience of rural Africa communities as well as working to preserve vital natural ecosystems in the region.”

Martin Rogers

Shortly behind was Steve Reeves, who ran the Marathon in three hours and 52 minutes.

Adam Bedford completed the 26.2 mile course in four hours 26 minutes, over which time he not only stopped to kiss wife Laura on the sidelines, but also made a FaceTime call to the couple’s young children back in Yorkshire.

Alice Brennan, who was inspired to take on the London Marathon by her father’s participation in Farm Africa’s Bale Mountains trek in Ethiopia in 2015, finished the race in four hours 38 minutes. Sponsor Alice >

Last but not least, husband and wife Yemi and Afua Williams overcame adversity to finish the Marathon in seven hours 49 minutes after Afua was beset by two serious injuries, which slowed their pace to ‘to slowly hobbling half a mile at a time.’ The couple showed incredible grit and determination and persevered with the race despite medical advice to stop. Yemi has written a moving account of the experience in the Voice newspaper. Sponsor Yemi and Afua >

Inspired by the runners? Join #TeamFarmAfrica and run London's most beautiful half marathon, the Royal Parks Half Marathon, on 13 October.