Running for Nicki’s Smile!


The final training runs have been completed and with the London marathon just five days away eight athletes are now set to raise thousands of pounds for Nicki’s Smile.

The effort is spearheaded by the team from XL Insurance who have chosen Nicki’s Smile as their UK Charity of the Year and consisting of James Martin, Philip Hogg, Claire Paternoster, James Benn, Teresa Ngeow and Jack Morris have together raised over £30,000.

Team XL – left to right; Jack Morris, Claire Paternoster, Teresa Ngeow, Philip Hogg, James Martin and James Benn

Whilst for some of the XL Insurance team it will be their first experience of running 26.2 miles for Teresa Ngeow it will be her seventh marathon in total and second of the week after successfully completing the Brighton marathon on Sunday!

With Rob Fosterman and Marc Cane also running the marathon and Debbie Ferrer running the BUPA 10k in May a further £5,000 should be added to the total with the combined efforts of all the athletes meaning that over £35,000 is set to be raised for Nicki’s Smile.

Through a seemingly never-ending winter the Nicki’s Smile runners have endured wind, rain, snow and freezing temperatures as well as overcoming numerous injuries in an effort just to arrive at the start line. Running his second marathon, and with both knees bearing scars of serious operations, Rob Fosterman certainly won’t miss 20 mile training runs through a blizzard and is looking forward to a drop of alcohol as he crosses the finish line.

Neither beating the course record of 2h 4m 40sec nor running further than Mo Farah in his London (half) marathon debut have been the motivation for the hundreds of miles covered during training. Each athlete has their own personal reasons for running – whether it’s ticking something off a bucket list or proving their spouses wrong – and also their own reasons for wanting to support Nicki’s Smile.

This is a subject especially close to home for some of the team who either knew Nicki or have lost close family or friends to pancreatic cancer. As they have learnt more about Nicki’s Smile and about pancreatic cancer they have become even more motivated to raise funds for research into early diagnosis techniques and help improve the horrifying survival statistics: more than 8,350 people in the UK are diagnosed every year and of these, fewer than 20% survive more than 12 months and only around 4% survive for 5 years or more.

The support on the streets of London for the runners on race day is legendary and James Martin commented on the support that the XL Insurance runners had received in the build-up, “The team has been overwhelmed by the support they have received from friends, family and colleagues all around the world and want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has sponsored them so far.”

There are still five days to contribute on one of the links above and you can also come down and support the whole team on Sunday. Nicki’s Smile will be tweeting from the marathon so follow us @NickisSmile and don’t forget to tell us where you’re standing on the course on the big day.

Marc Cane

Debbie Ferrer

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