“More of a spectator than a partaker”

Beth & family blog

Beth Northey has made it very clear that running a marathon was never on her list of things to do. She says, in fact, that she’s “more of a spectator rather than partaker“. However, sometimes all it takes is one event to change the way you look at something.

In August 2011, Beth’s brother Toby was involved in a paragliding accident in France. Toby broke his lumbar spine and the injury left him paralysed. The way that Toby dealt with his accident and the life changing effects has changed Beth’s outlook. She says “Whenever I think of what happened to my brother, I feel such pride for how he has dealt with his accident, he does not let paralysis get in the way of his living life to the very fullest.

After the accident, Beth wondered how she would have responded to a similar incident and how she could express to her brother how proud she was. So she “ditched the Marlboro Lights and most of the Prosecco/Sauvignon Blancs“, bought running shoes and signed up for the Virgin Money London Marathon.

As well as undertaking the challenge so that she could experience something that is both mentally and physically exhausting, Beth is fundraising for Spinal Research. Every year 1,000 people in the UK and Ireland suffer spinal injuries which result in paralysis. Spinal Research raises money to fund research into clinical treatments as well as vital basic scientific research.

Beth can’t believe that she “has a new found interest in ‘running chat’ with other past-marathoners” but it just goes to show how one incident can completely change your priorities.

You can read Beth’s story and contribute to her fundraising via her Virgin Money Giving page.

1 Response to ““More of a spectator than a partaker””


  1. 1 juliedurcan March 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Hi Beth. Best of luck! I’m running the VMLM2014 as well, for Spinal Research and Rooprai Spinal Trust. My partner Tom was in Stoke Mandeville at the same time as Toby – I remember him very well. I’m a complete newbie to running too. Maybe I’ll see you on the day or afterwards. Best of luck and hi to Toby. Julie Durcan


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