Saturday, April 7th, 2018
Have you noticed the number of runners out on the streets and around the parks seems to have increased recently and they are all looking rather tired or sucking on tubes of sticky gel? It’s marathon season! Over the coming weeks there are marathons in Paris and Manchester on 8th April, Brighton on 15th April and the London marathon on 22nd April.
Over 41,000 runners take part in the London marathon and this year sees Mo Farah return to try and better his previous 8th place achieved in 2014 and Mary Keitany has announced her intention to use pacemakers in an attempt to break Paula Radcliffe’s 15 year old women’s marathon world record of 2 hours 15 minutes and 25 seconds. The marathon also sees a host of famous faces taking on the 26.2 mile challenge. This year sees the likes of Scott Mills, George Lamb, Katie Price, Chris Evans, Joel Dommett and Gordon Ramsey take to the famous route starting in Greenwich and finishing in the Mall in sight of Buckingham Palace.
This year also sees Hanne & Co’s Lorna Cservenka line up to take part in this ultimate of all running challenges. Lorna heads the Hanne & Co public child law team consisting of 9 solicitors who all represent family members involved in care proceedings and other cases which involve social services involvement.
In addition, Lorna has volunteered for the last 14 years with the charity Rights of Women for whom she gives free legal advice on their family law advice line. Rights of Women is a small charity based in London but providing a national telephone advice service to women in relation to family law, immigration law and sexual violence. Rights of Women also campaign in relation to legal issues relating to women. In 2016 Rights of Women successfully challenged the governments cuts to legal aid imposed in 2013. Rights of Women asked the High Court to consider the legality of the government’s decision to impose upon domestic violence survivor’s requirements that they must produce written evidence demonstrating that they had suffered violence within only the two years prior to their application for legal aid. Whilst the Legal Aid Agency may have dragged its heels bringing in the changes the court required it to make, in January 2018 new regulations eventually came in allowing far more domestic violence survivors to access legal aid as the evidence they require no longer needs to be time limited to the previous two years.
This year Rights of Women obtained a place in the marathon charity ballot for the first time in its 42 year history. Lorna took a little persuasion to step up to the challenge (a few beers helped as she received some intense pressure from her friends at the charity!) Lorna was mindful that following an operation in late 2016 she was not feeling at peak fitness, increasing the physical challenge of the marathon.
Now after 6 months of increasingly difficult training, which at times has involved running on cold dark rainy evenings, through snow and sleet and battling against the winds howling along the Thames Lorna has now reached the point in her training when she is relieved to see the number of training miles reduce and it becomes acceptable to eat lots of cake (a process otherwise known to runners as carb loading).
Lorna is looking forward to the race day on 22nd April. Her aim is simply to reach the finish line in one piece and then make it to the pub for a well – earned lunch. Lorna is delighted to be running for a charity she has invested much time volunteering for and feels that perhaps this was the year she was destined to run London marathon. Rights of Women is 42 years old and the marathon is 42 kilometers. Lorna has discovered that the now 71 year old Kathrine Switzer who fought in the American courts to be the first women to officially be allowed to run the Boston Marathon in 1972 is also running this year. Kathrine Switzer faced legal arguments that “women are too weak to run the marathon.” Lorna was born in 1972. Lorna hopes she too will be proving that statement wrong when she runs on 22nd April.
Lorna is aiming to raise £3,000 for Rights of Women. Please give generously to her chosen charity:
Hanne & Co wish Lorna all the best for the marathon.