Linden Groves to run the 2025 London Marathon for the Gardens Trust

Head of Operations and Strategy, Linden Groves, will be running the 2025 London Marathon to raise funds and gather more support for the Gardens Trust. Here she tells us about her motivation, training plan and the opportunity to raise awareness of our important work.

Why are you running the London Marathon?

I decided to run the marathon in an act of giddiness as I’m passionate about raising awareness of historic parks and gardens, and the amazing work of the Gardens Trust, and this seemed like a brilliant way to do it. Plus, my dad has run 44,000 miles in his lifetime, including several marathons, and I want to do him proud!

What training have you done so far and what does the rest of your plan look like?

I nervously started just before Christmas and was amazed to manage 3.5km straight off, having only really done pilates as exercise previously! January was a bit of a covid-y blur without much progress, but since then I’ve added about 5km a month and now find myself at 20km. I can’t believe it! I wouldn’t say I have a ‘plan’ as such, but if I can keep adding a few km each month then hopefully I’ll get to a full marathon in time?? (*Nervous laugh*) My main aim at the moment is to get faster as I’m definitely just at a comfortable jog at the moment!

Why is it important to inspire more people to support our parks and gardens?

I’m running for the Gardens Trust because I really want to see more people recognising that the parks and gardens they probably walk their dog in, jog in, or meet friends in, are incredible treasures that we need to appreciate and care for better. I live in a city but have managed to do all my training whilst enjoying nature and open space, thanks to our parks! We are all incredibly fortunate to have these special places, created and cared for over hundreds of years, at the heart of our national culture. The Gardens Trust is the only national organisation working to champion historic parks and gardens, and as a tiny charity, we are desperately in need of help … and money! 2025 is the Gardens Trust’s 10th anniversary, and I’m hoping very much that my run will raise lots of donations to support our work.

What parks have you visited during your training so far?

On my first ever run I managed to get to our local recreation ground, the Oliver Tambo Rec, which is always heaving with dog walkers, local school children, and people enjoying the tennis courts or football pitches. After a couple of months I was managing to run far enough to get to Alexandra Palace Park, or Ally Pally as it’s known locally, which is a beautiful 150 year old park high on a hill, with fantastic views over London. Then just in the last couple of weeks I’ve managed to get a little bit further to Highgate Woods, which are owned by the City of London Corporation as a little bit of ancient woodland right in the city. Now that the weather is picking up, I’m starting to make plans to get out of the city and into some historic gardens in the countryside, making a proper day out of it!

How can people support you on your journey to the 2025 London Marathon?

I would love people to support us by sharing the Gardens Trust’s marathon story on social media, or by simply taking a minute next time you’re in a historic park or garden to reflect on all the work that goes into caring for it. But most of all, I would please like people to donate!

(PS. My running shoes already have holes in them, so if anyone has a spare pair of Size 4s to pass on, that would be much appreciated!)

 

Make sure to follow @thegardenstrust on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok for more updates on Linden’s marathon journey!

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith