Mandy Macqueen takes on the challenge of running the Virgin Money Virtual London Marathon 2020

Not content with running her own socially distanced Marathon back in April, Mandy is still inspired to help others receive subsidised counselling and will be taking on a new challenge. This time running the virtual marathon on Sunday 4 October.

Mandy will take part in the virtual race to be completed over 24 hours by choosing to run the famous 26.2-mile distance from home or anywhere in the world on the course of her choice.

On completion we hope Mandy will be rewarded with the coveted finisher medal and exclusive finisher T-shirt!

With your donations for Mandy we aim to reach even more people struggling with depression, anxiety or loss to get the life-changing help they need as we continue to navigate a new norm as the lockdown eases.



Mandy Macqueen | My story

I am a 52 year old wife and mother who ran a Virtual Marathon near my house on Mothers Day this year and is taking on the challenge of doing a second, as part of the Virtual Virgin Money London 2020 Marathon 40th Anniversary, on 4th October this year to support The Counselling Foundation, a local counselling charity, where I am a trustee.

Promoting positive mental health is a cause close to my heart, and it is an honour to help to raise the profile and awareness of our charity and counselling services.

One in four people suffer from a range of mental health issues, including anxiety, depression, bereavement or life changing events. Counselling can improve family life, reduce isolation and encourage people back into paid or volunteering work.

We believe everyone should have someone to talk to and we offer subsidised counselling on a sliding scale of fees where we ask clients to make a contribution towards the cost of their weekly session based on income, subject to a minimum fee.

The Counselling Foundation receive no government funding and to ensure we continue to maintain the subsidised element of our counselling service for those that need it, public donations are crucial. The charity requires £250,000 from fundraising and its’ other ventures to support this work. Every pound that is donated will go directly to top up weekly charitable counselling sessions for those on low incomes.

With the strong link between physical fitness and good mental health, the London Marathon is a great fundraising activity for our counselling charity to be part of.

What has inspired you to run on behalf of the Foundation?

I have seen friends and family suffering due to the shortage of mental health services. This is a fantastic opportunity to raise awareness of the great mental health work the charity does and raise funds to support our charitable work.

Are you a regular runner?

I always run 3 times a week, even when on holiday or abroad with work. I am slow and steady (over 1 hour for 10k) at the bottom level of ‘proper’ runners but I love it.

Have you run a Marathon in the past? What will your training plan look like?

I have only done one marathon before, Brighton 2010, and I vowed having ticked this massive challenge off my bucket list I would never do another!

My training plan is 3 days of running per week with some strength training and cross training. The goal is to avoid injury while being fully prepared for the 26 miles.

What do you think will be your biggest challenges?

Avoiding injury – both as a runner over 50!

Are you planning other Fundraising/event ideas to help boost awareness and funds?will be 52) and due to my dog Harvey who trains with me and nearly trips me up sometimes.

We have started working on ideas and I will put more updates when we have progressed them.

What meal will you have the night before?

High carbs obviously, probably pasta and chicken.

What music will you be listening to get you round?

Using bone conducting headphones I will be listening to dance music and an audio book.

Who will be there to cheer you on the day?

The crowds in London will really help and technology will allow family and friends to monitor my progress. I can call people hands free if I need a boost.

What will you do to celebrate when you cross the finish line?

Eat some chocolate and sit down.


If you can find a way to support me in doing this great challenge for our fantastic charity it would be much appreciated by myself, the charity and all the people who will learn new coping skills. 
Click the image below to sponsor me!


Read Mandy’s training blog posts:-