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The 39th London Marathon took place at the weekend with a record number of entrants – including the Principal of St George’s, Professor Jenny Higham.

Professor Higham decided to run her first-ever marathon this year in support of Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY), the charity which aims to raise awareness of sudden cardiac death in young people and provides cardiac screening throughout the UK.

Prof Higham said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and see if I could raise the bar from a gentle jog to something more of a challenge and what better way than supporting CRY, particularly with our university’s proud association with the charity.”

Also present at the Marathon was the event’s Medical Director, St George’s Professor Sanjay Sharma. It was his 12th year in the role and he again led a huge medical team, including 160 doctors, paramedics, 1500 voluntary workers from St John’s Ambulance, cycle response teams, physiotherapists and podiatrists. As well as 40 medical treatment centres along the route staffed by first aiders and doctors, there were three large intensive medical units run by senior doctors at the finish. The medical team aim to treat runners with non-serious issues so that they can continue the race, but also provide immediate life-saving treatment where required and arrange transfer to hospital if necessary. On average, one in 20 runners has contact with the medical team for one reason or another.

Professor Sharma has also been the Consultant Cardiologist for CRY since 2001, leading their cardiac screening programme to identify young people with potentially serious heart problems, so was delighted that Professor Higham was running in support of his charity.

On the day, running conditions were good with a high of 13 degrees Celsius. With a record number of entrants this year, 42,500 completed the race. Professor Sharma said: “As expected, it was a very busy day but also very successful. The medical team treated several hundred patients. There were 39 admissions to hospital with only 10 remaining overnight.”

Prof Higham ended the run in a very respectable 4h 44 min and 18 seconds. She said: “It was tough but the support from the crowds was absolutely fantastic and seeing my own supporters really gave me such a boost!  A day later I’m aching but I’m very glad to have completed the run and thrilled to have ticked that particular challenge off my bucket list.”

If you would like to support Professor Higham’s efforts to raise money for CRY, please visit her sponsorship page.