back to top

Erica is (finally) running a marathon

March, 2024

Account Director Erica Jones of Kent PR, marketing and public affairs agency Maxim shares a personal view of cancer, covid and the London Marathon.

TL, DR: I just want to donate to Erica’s fundraiser for Macmillan Cancer Support. Click here.

Articles on this website usually offer advice about public relations, or share news stories about our work and that of our clients. This article is taking a bit of a different tack, because it’s very much a personal story, of the journey I’ve taken to the London Marathon and why you should donate a few pounds to support my efforts and help the vital charity that is Macmillan Cancer Support.


My journey begins almost 40 years ago, when my Mum and her young family benefitted from the help of Macmillan during the final few years of her life. Their support made a significant difference to the quality of her final years, massively helping to reduce the stress of an incredibly difficult time.

A young Erica with her Mum.

Skip forward a decade and teenage me was slogging her way through enforced school cross country and hating every step – probably in the same year I first saw the London Marathon on television and thought “I want to be a part of that”.

Leap again and we get to 2016, when mid 30s me decided I really needed to do something about my fitness and took on my first 5k parkrun. I walked around half of that first one, but the feeling of elation as I got to the end meant I kept going back and eventually I was able to run the whole thing. After a while I was able to run it a little faster too.

Skip forward again and I found myself taking on a half marathon. The obvious next step was to finally apply for that teenage dream and in June 2019 Macmillan Cancer Support offered me a place in the London Marathon 2020.

We all know how that went.

To ensure all the 2020 intake had their chance at taking part, deferrals were allowed for the next three years, and a 2020 knee injury (nothing to do with running, I fell over taking out the bins) meant I eagerly awaited 2023.


Then in September 2022 covid finally caught up with me. The infection itself was “just a cold” and a little tiredness. The recovery was anything but. January 2023 arrived and to take part in the marathon that April I had to be able to run for 20 minutes to be at the minimum level to begin my training. My reality was that walking for 20 minutes was a challenge and there were times when I wondered if I’d ever be able to walk up a flight of stairs again without needing to pause for breath. I had to give up my marathon place to someone who had more chance of taking part.

When you’re already feeling weak, tired and fuzzy-headed, giving up on a dream that’s been within reach for so long is pretty gutting. Especially when that dream is a way of giving back after all the support my Mum – and countless other friends and family – had received from Macmillan.

It took me 10 months to recover from covid.

I feel incredibly lucky that recovery happened. And I feel incredibly lucky that my chosen charity was able to give me another chance, offering me a place in the London Marathon 2024.

London Marathon 2024

When training started this January I was significantly heavier and slower than I had been four years ago, but the enthusiasm was still there and the determination to raise awareness of and funds for Macmillan Cancer Support is as strong as ever.

This weekend I completed the longest training run of my plan: 20 miles around hilly Tunbridge Wells, in exactly four hours. At times it was challenging, but mostly it was wonderful to know I’m fit and healthy enough to be able to run again, and to celebrate the memory of my Mum – who was around my age when she died.

Erica after completing 20 miles of running.

In just under a month I’ll be taking part in the full 26.2 miles and I’d be grateful of any sponsorship you can provide in recognition of the challenge I’ve been through and the important work of the charity.

Macmillan Cancer Support is there to help make cancer a fact of life, rather than an end of it, and personal experience tells me they are invaluable for making a difference to people’s lives. Some key figures for you to think about:

  • 1 in 2 people born in the UK in 1961 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer.
  • An estimated three million people are living with cancer in the UK.
  • It costs £1,135 to provide a Macmillan nurse for one week, or £5,014 for a month.

To sponsor Erica, please visit:

Erica and her parents, during a visit to the Houses of Parliament in the early 1980s.

Erica Jones - Account Director

Erica Jones

Maxim / Account Director

posted in: maxim/client news,

we'd love to work with you

get in touch