Julia runs the extra mile for CAFOD

St Bede’s (Chadwell Heath) parishioner Julia Galea, 60, took her place along 39,000 others last Sunday morning to take part in her second London Marathon. She raised £1700 for CAFOD and the Annabelle Rose Foundation.

On the chilly early morning of the 36th London Marathon, Julia Galea awoke before her alarm went off, a sign she thinks that she must have been well rested. She felt relaxed on the journey to the Greenwich Park starting point, but when she arrived she started to feel a bit cold and nervous. Now an ‘experienced’ marathon runner, Julia is used to the pre-race routine: dropping off her bags, putting her number put on her vest and the timing chip on her shoes.

A determined Julia sporting the distinctive green CAFOD badge on her vest

A determined Julia sporting the distinctive green CAFOD badge on her vest


The nerves subsided somewhat once she started to run and heard the bands playing uplifting music and people cheering and shouting out her name. All went very well and according to her time plan until she developed cramp at 19 miles which slowed her down. How am I to get through the last 7 miles, she thought to herself.

The encouragement of the crowd pulled her through and despite the problem of cramp, Julia managed to finish in 4 hours 18 minutes, just 2 minutes slower than her time last year. A remarkable achievement once again. Accompanied by her daughter to the CAFOD meeting place, all Julia wanted was a cup of tea and a shower. She got the tea but had to put up with just a foot bath to help revive her aching feet. Some kind soul did give her a very welcome leg massage though.

Another London Marathon done for Julia. Reflecting on her experience, Julia says, ‘So much preparation goes in the marathon and you need to cover many miles in training as 26.2 miles is a long run by anyone’s standards. I’m very proud of the achievement and to raise funds for CAFOD and the Annabelle Rose Foundation at the same time is very satisfying’. Will she back again next year? Julia is not forthcoming on this at the moment: ‘I shall be resting now for a while before I make a decision regarding any future marathons!’

Are you interested in fundraising for CAFOD? Join ‘Team CAFOD’ and take part in a sponsored event…


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