Meet Naomi - our first ever NY Marathon runner!

19th August 2014

On November 2nd this year, Cure Leukaemia will be represented in the TCS New York Marathon for the first time ever!

Starting under the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, Naomi Sullivan will line up alongside 50,000 fellow competitors who will run through the streets of Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and under the skyscrapers of Manhattan, before finishing in the serene and beautiful surroundings of Central Park.

We are delighted that Naomi has chosen to run for Cure Leukaemia so we caught up with our first ever New York Marathon fundraiser to find out more about her and why she is supporting Cure Leukaemia...


Why have you chosen to run the New York Marathon for Cure Leukaemia?

Now I’m in my 30’s, so keeping vaguely fit seems a good thing to do. And having to do all the training that makes running a marathon relatively painless, very much enforces a healthier lifestyle. I wanted to run the New York marathon and of course for a charity, so it wasn’t purely a self-indulgent venture because it really helps with the motivation to train properly when sometimes it’s the very last thing one wants to do.

Cure Leukaemia had places and since 2010 I’ve been trying to support charities that research blood cancers and leukaemia.


Do you have a personal connection to the charity?

Not immediately. I have friends with experiences of coping with leukaemia. And I run for charity to remember my father who died in 2010 after two bone marrow transplants. I suppose it’s my way of thinking about him and keeping some sort of connection to him.

I teach at Birmingham Conservatoire and run on the towpaths before work. I love the city and how it’s getting better and better. It seemed a good opportunity to support Birmingham by running for a charity based here in the city.


Have you been to New York before and if so, what’s so special about the New York Marathon?

I have been to New York. In 2001, I was travelling with my best friend, Kate. We were following a country rock band called ‘Poco’. We did all the tourist things. And ate a lot of steak.

Then I went again in 2006, after I’d finished studying in Chicago. I stayed in a bedsit in Greenwich Village so I could pretend I’ve been there. My suitcase got lost between New Orleans and JFK, meaning I had to replace lots of clothes…many of which I’m still wearing. Oh dear.

I love New York. The architecture, the museums, the pace seems quicker and louder than London. And when I went before the High Line Park wasn’t there. So I hope to see it, but I have a flight to Texas to visit my friend Mas, straight after the run so unless I run really fast, I might not get to see it. However, running round a whole city is just an excellent thing to do.

Although I am scared of the hills….


Is this your first marathon?

I ran the London Marathon in 2014 and have a ballot place in the Paris marathon 2015.


Are you running alongside any friends?

Not as such. I like running on my own so I don’t feel bad if I’m running at less than ideal pace. However there are a few people from South East London who are all going. Including Denise, Sean and Duncan.


Tell us a bit more about yourself, what you do and any interesting hobbies that you have?

I’m a musician so that kind of lends itself to a musician’s lifestyle. Rehearsals, concerts, pubs, practice, procrastinating. Colleagues are often friends.

But I love cycling too. Very much.

I have a beautiful Condor bike, as I don’t drive. So enjoy cycling silly distances to see friends. My favourite rides have been Paris to London, London to Brighton and John O’Groats to Land’s End. This is always very much in the spirit of adventure, i.e. fuelled by cake and cider, not so much for sport or speed.


Tell us about your fundraising?

You can very kindly show your support via my JustGiving site

Failing that, I make blinding gingerbread so will use that as bribery.

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The Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP)

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"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell
"Cure Leukaemia’s funding of the UK Trials Acceleration Programme (TAP) is a game-changer and increases the access for blood cancer patients to potentially transformative new therapies."

Sir John Bell