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Run 2009 Flora Marathon for Heart Foundation

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10 July 2008

CHALLENGE YOUR HEART AND RUN THE 2009 FLORA LONDON MARATHON FOR THE HEART FOUNDATION

The Heart Foundation is giving Australians the opportunity to put their hearts to the ultimate test by running the Flora London Marathon on 26 April, 2009 with a limited number of guaranteed starting spots up for grabs until 1 August 2008. The Heart Foundation guarantees race entry for the Flora London Marathon in return for fundraising and is urging anyone who is interested to sign up now.

As one of the premier marathon events in the world, the Flora London Marathon is one of the world's great road races. Last year 92,000 runners applied for starting spots with only 35,000 granted entries.

Over the 42.2km (26.2 miles) course our runners will experience the thrill of running through the awe inspiring London sights cheered on by over a million supporters. The team will run through Docklands, over London Bridge to Big Ben, and through to the finish line at Buckingham Palace.

An inspirational team of 11 Heart Foundation runners ran the London marathon for the first time on 13 April 2008. Some members of the inaugural team chose to run the event for the Heart Foundation because heart disease has touched their lives, like Hannah White from Clovelly. Ms White’s mother and brother both have heart conditions. Her 20 year old brother is a paraplegic and completely reliant on a pacemaker due to complications with open heart surgery when he was 11 and her mother had a valve replaced last year.

“I’m very passionate about raising funds for the Heart Foundation so that they can continue to help people like my brother and my mother and save more lives from cardiovascular disease,” said Ms. White, who is a Director of advertising agency Group W.

Ms. White completed the race in 4:07:36 and individually raised almost $15,000. “I feel like I have completed the ultimate challenge - the London Marathon is such an iconic event and being part of it was like a dream come true for me.” Andrew Wildblood, from Lilyfield, was Team Heart Foundation’s fastest runner after crossing the finishing line in an impressive 3:39:57. Andrew made a commitment to complete the marathon in memory of his father who died tragically of a heart attack in 2002.

“After Dad died I really wanted to do something that would not only benefit my own heart but the hearts of all Australians,” said Mr Wildblood,

“The money our team raised by running the London Marathon will help the Heart Foundation continue the critical, lifesaving work that they do in order to reduce the number of people affected by heart disease in the future,” he added. Tony Thirlwell, Heart Foundation CEO – NSW urged Australians to sign up for the challenge. “By taking part in events like the London Marathon, Heart Foundation runners not only raise vital funds which help us continue our lifesaving work, but also spread our message about the benefits of being physically active to all Australians,” he said.

The London Marathon is one of the Heart Foundation’s Heart Challenge adventure events where participants raise funds to help in the fight against cardiovascular disease – one of Australia’s biggest killers.

Any runners interested in taking part in this fantastic event should contact Elizabeth Dorrough on 02 9219 2427.

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For further information or interviews, please contact Heart Foundation NSW Communications Manager Sophie Cooley on 02 9219 2487/0417 421 683 or sophie.cooley@heartfoundation.org.au

The Heart Foundation saves lives and improves health through funding cardiovascular research, developing guidelines for health professionals, informing the public and assisting people with cardiovascular disease. As a charity, the Heart Foundation relies on donations and gifts in Wills to continue its lifesaving research, education and health promotion work. For further information about the Heart Foundation, visit www.heartfoundation.org.au or for heart health information call 1300 36 27

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