Running for a reason.

From Move More Jersey’s Couch to 5K programme to the 2024 London Marathon, islander Caroline Ambler is running to raise money for Hospice UK in memory of her older sister Ruth who died in November 2022.

“I can constantly hear her voice encouraging me. Ruth was supremely positive in the face of the greatest adversity and I miss her every day. Ruth spent the last four days of her life being treated in St Leonard’s Hospice, York, by wonderful doctors and nurses who gave her dignity, support and a feeling of calm and safety throughout her final days. The support which my brother, Christopher, and I were given felt as if there was a caring arm around our shoulders and that support continued in the days, weeks and months after Ruth’s death.”

Attempting the London Marathon just one year after joining Move More Jersey’s Couch to 5K programme as a complete beginner might seem crazy to some people, but Caroline believes that it’s a relatively small amount of discomfort compared to the indescribable pain her sister endured towards the end of her life.

Caroline applied for a charity place in the London Marathon (2024) to raise money for Hospice UK, a national charity that works with the government and NHS to ensure over 200 local hospices can survive and thrive, offering kindness and support for children, adults and families dealing with death, dying and grief. Currently, one in four UK families can’t get the care they need and deserve when their loved one is dying. It takes £3 million every day to keep local hospices open, two-thirds of which comes from people donating and fundraising within the community.

When Caroline went for her very first session with Move More Jersey’s Couch to 5K group in April 2023, she hadn’t been running for well over a decade and knew she needed the support and accountability of a group, and the dedicated session times in order to make the progress she needed to achieve her goals.

“The Move More Jersey running group was made up of about 11 women, each with a different story and reason for being there. Only a handful made it through to the end of the course and the 5km Parkrun event, which I think is probably because many women lack confidence in their abilities.”

“In that first session, I tried to run 1.5 minutes without stopping and found I didn’t have much puff! But I kept going with the progressions each week and was so happy to complete the Parkrun in June.”

Caroline continued with her training, choosing to run in solitude from her home in the early mornings, with her favourite playlist. “It fits better around my work as a language tutor and gives me freedom and flexibility.” In addition to running, Caroline also loves to walk for an hour a day with her Labrador.

In October, Caroline took part in the Yorkshire 10-mile race in York to raise awareness for St Leonard’s Hospice, where her sister died. She was incredibly proud to finish the event. “I fast-walked some of it but that’s allowed!” Her fundraising efforts after her sister’s death meant she found herself in the VIP section and was interviewed by the BBC about her achievements.

Since then, she’s returned to the Move More Jersey Couch to 5K ‘refreshers’ group as a buddy runner which aims to get people who started the course back on track and over the finish line. Being a buddy runner is a great way for Caroline to support and inspire others while also having sessions booked in the diary to keep her motivated and on target with her own training.

Caroline’s London Marathon official training programme started in January 2024 with a 16-week plan that allows beginners and novices to be able to complete the 26.2-mile course. Training plans are also available for intermediate and advanced runners. Thinking about the period of training ahead, throughout the winter months, Caroline says: “I don’t like running in the wet, but I don’t mind crispy, cold and sunny winter days!”

Listening to Caroline’s story and hearing her experiences of training and events so far, it’s clear she has plenty of drive and determination and the mental resilience to keep going for 26.2 miles, even if her body gets tired. So, what’s her secret to setting physical goals and achieving them?

I need to have a deadline or appointments booked in to keep me accountable, otherwise I won’t do it! It’s amazing to be taking part in the London Marathon just one year after getting back into running and my only goal is to finish the course. I’ve booked a hotel close to the finish line so I can stagger back!


If you would like to sponsor Caroline to run the London Marathon on 21 April 2024, you can donate to her JustGiving page below:



If you’ve been inspired by Caroline’s story and are interested in starting a running programme in Jersey, but are new to running or haven’t run in many years, here are some useful links:



To find out about other activities and groups you can join to get you moving more, please visit our Move More Jersey Directory.