39 year old Sarah Johnston, a medical writer from Edinburgh will take on the challenge of running the iconic London Marathon for the first time this year. Her motivation to complete the 26.2 mile course is to raise funds for the Lawscot Foundation and support law students who have faced several obstacles whilst growing up.

Last year we gave financial and mentoring support to 17 aspiring solicitors from less-advantaged backgrounds from all over Scotland and this year we're aiming to be able to help even more. All of these students have been the first in their family to go to university and despite challenging backgrounds they are all studying law today as a result of their own perseverance and talent.

Sarah, who has been a supporter since we set up in 2016, said, “In 2009, I turned 30 and made the sweeping declaration that 'I would run the London Marathon before I turned 40'. I’m not sure why as I’ve never been a runner! In one of my first ‘fun runs’ I was overtaken by four runners tied together and dressed as a Chinese dragon, thus establishing myself firmly in the 'not a runner' camp.

“I ran a couple of half marathon and 10K races with varying success and although I improved my running slightly, I then had two children and all thoughts of running, let alone running marathons, vanished. Back in April last year I was watching the marathon on TV when it hit me. If I wanted to cross that finish line in London, 2019 was my last chance before I turned 40!

“When I heard the Lawscot Foundation was taking applications I didn’t even think twice before I applied. I really admire the work they do to provide fair access to the legal profession and wanted to run the marathon to show my support and raise funds for such a great cause.

“So on the 28th April this year, I'll be hopefully putting my 'not a runner' status to bed, as surely if I can run a marathon I can finally call myself a runner! Between now and then there is a lot of training and a lot of fundraising to be done. On the day, look out for me on the TV, hopefully this time I'll be the one in front of the Chinese dragon!”

Darren Kerr, from the Lawscot Foundation, said, “This is the first year we’ve had a fundraising space for the London Marathon and we’re very excited to be part of such a major fundraising event. We’re glad we can help Sarah tick a marathon off her bucket list and can’t thank her enough for her dedicated support.

“It costs us £12,000 to fund one student through their time at university and every penny raised will be used to better the lives of less-advantaged students."

You can support Sarah by donating on her Virgin Money Giving page.