BBC Newsround presenter completes her first marathon in under six hours

Leah Gooding, presenter of CBBC’s Newsround programme, completed the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday in 5 hours 56 minutes and 48 seconds for I CAN. Sunday saw the fulfilment of a lifelong dream of Leah’s to run a marathon. She chose to use the experience to support I CAN, the children’s communication charity, which has helped her nephew to speak and talk confidently for the first time.

After crossing the finishing line, Leah said, “I’ve just completed my first ever marathon in under 6 hours and I’m absolutely thrilled! The atmosphere on the streets of London was electrifying and I really appreciated all the people who turned out to support us all and cheer us on, that really kept me going. I’m so grateful to all the people who sponsored me and helped raise funds for I CAN, the children’s communication charity. As a children’s TV presenter, it’s a cause close to my heart and I’m proud to have had this amazing opportunity to support them and raise awareness of the 1 million children in the UK who struggle to communicate.”

Leah’s role at Newsround means she communicates with children every day and so she has always been aware how important communication is for children: without being able to project thoughts and feelings as easily as others can make the world seem like a frustrating place. This became ever more apparent when her 5-year-old nephew, Bowe, needed help from I CAN. He found it difficult to sound out words and complete sentences but, since attending an I CAN nursery, he has blossomed into a confident and outgoing child.

Virginia Beardshaw, I CAN Chief Executive said, “We are so thrilled that Leah Gooding has run the London Marathon for I CAN. It was a fantastic day – the atmosphere was buzzing! Leah’s outstanding efforts have raised awareness and funds for I CAN’s work with some of the 1 million children in the UK who struggle with speaking, listening and understanding. We hope others will be inspired to follow in Leah’s footsteps and complete one of our walking, running or overseas Challenges!”

Watch a video of Leah at the Marathon: