This year I took part in the London Marathon, not as an elite athlete or ambitious sponsored runner. I attended as a Massage Therapist.
The charity ‘Children with Leukemia’ were looking for volunteers to join their Massage and Physio aftercare team.
With around 1,200 runners taking part and supporting the charity, I wanted to do my bit. I knew it was going to be hard work, also given the event I was sure that the adrenalin and excitement would sweep us along and keep us going – I knew it would be fun.
Based in Whitehall, I arrived to find the hall already teaming with people and dozens of massage couches set up. The excitement in the air was tangible with therapists who had clearly travelled into London from all over the country to participate. The atmosphere was fantastic; we were greeted and welcomed by the lovely, friendly and very appreciative team from the charity. There were over 60 massage therapists, as well as doctors, paramedics, physiotherapists and medical students, all gathered there for a united cause.
Once the runners started to arrive from the finish line, they were checked over by the medical teams, cleaned up (blisters plastered) fresh socks supplied before they hopped onto the massage couches – well not all literally hopped, many limped on. Whilst one therapist did the massage, the other chatted to the athlete to ensure they stayed alert and awake. The athletes were buzzing from their experience and were on such a high. We heard some lovely stories from some runners about why they were taking part; stories that were also very heart warming. Some were doing it because they knew a child or family member who had been affected by Leukemia, others for the challenge and others just because it’s something to do at least once in your lifetime!
As a massage therapist I would highly recommend being part of a prestigious event like the London Marathon at least once. Supporting a worthy cause by donating the gift of massage is hugely rewarding. It is also a great confidence booster if you are a massage student or newly qualified. If you can massage at the London Marathon – you can massage anywhere!