Team Smile takes on the London Marathon

780 400 Susie

This weekend, nine incredible supporters will take on the iconic TCS London Marathon in aid of Spread a Smile.

The London Marathon is one of the world’s most popular marathons, covering 26.2 miles around the streets of our beautiful capital city, taking in London’s best landmarks including Buckingham Palace, The Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf.

We spoke to Team Smile marathon runner, Charlotte Weatherall – Director of Sales & Marketing at Corinthia London – about the race ahead, her training and motivations for taking on this amazing challenge and supporting Spread a Smile.

Charlotte: “I ran my first marathon in 2009 in New York with the only goal of getting over the finish line and with no intention of ever doing another one. Since then, I have run 10 marathons in total, including the Brighton Marathon earlier this month. The London Marathon will be my 11th which seems quite fitting seeing as it’s also Spread a Smile’s 11th birthday this month. 

“There is something special about running a marathon – the commitment to training, feeling fitter and heathier and then the magic of the day itself. It hurts and it’s as much a mental challenge as a physical one. But the sense of achievement when you finish is so special it encourages you back to try again.

“I started training for the London Marathon at the beginning of the year and have managed to stick to my plan on the whole. The longer runs of 16, 18 and 20 miles are hard – they take a long time and they hurt. With a young family to juggle alongside work and training there is no rest. The hardest part has been managing the long runs and then still showing up and being a parent, when all I want to do is lie on the sofa! Having my family behind me has kept me going and time is precious, so better use it for something meaningful. The sofa can wait for another day.

“I was introduced to Spread a Smile during the pandemic when the hotel I worked for at the time wanted to gift boxes of afternoon tea and vouchers to NHS hospitals as a thank you for their amazing work during Covid. A mutual friend introduced me to the charity and they helped us set up the initiative and we gifted boxes to NHS key workers. I was instantly impressed and inspired by the charity’s passion and energy and everyone I met and spoke to was so wonderful.

“Since I joined Corinthia London two years ago, I have been able to nominate Spread a Smile as the hotel’s partner charity. Now in the second year of partnership, I feel very proud to see colleagues getting behind the charity and supporting events and initiatives as well as fundraising.

“I organised a team of colleagues from Corinthia London to run the Royal Parks Half Marathon last October and we raised over £13,000, which was an incredibly proud moment. When the team at Spread a Smile mentioned they might be able to get a spot for me in the London Marathon, I jumped at the chance. There is no other marathon like it in the world!

“As a mother of two, there is not a day that goes by that I am not grateful for their health. Love for a child is like nothing I have experienced, and I find it an unbearable thought to imagine that being taken away. I have always empathised with what the children and families supported by Spread a Smile must go through whilst having nothing but respect and admiration for their positivity in the face of adversity.

“I believe Spread a Smile help at the most challenging moments for a family and if I can be a small part in helping that continue, then it is an absolute privilege to do so.

“To anyone thinking of taking on a challenge like the London Marathon for Spread a Smile, I say “do it!” You will never regret it once you cross the finish line and the sense of achievement and pride in yourself for making the commitment, training, raising money and then doing what you agreed to do on the day, is a feeling like no other.”

A huge thank you and GOOD LUCK from everyone at Spread a Smile to Charlotte and all of our amazing marathon runners for their commitment, efforts and support. You’ve got this!