Meet the team taking on this year’s London Marathon for RFUK

26 February 2018

Meet some of our amazing 2018 London Marathon runners who are helping protect the rainforest and support communities from the Amazon to the Congo Basin. The Rainforest Foundation UK is thrilled to have our biggest ever team this year with 17 runners total. We wish all of our runners the very best of luck, and we will be there to support each and every one of them on the day!

If you would like to support any of these runners, just click on their names to visit their fundraising pages.

  • Maud Salber is working for RFUK as Policy Advisor, which has allowed her to spend time with rainforest communities in the Congo. She is a keen tennis player but is completely new to long distance running.

“In my work with RFUK I have witnessed first-hand the amazing work it is doing to support indigenous communities on the ground. I am very excited to be raising funds for them for my first ever marathon!”


  • Alex Valentine works in multimedia sales after graduating from UEA. He’s a keen korfball player, and has always enjoyed running – although never quite at marathon distance!

“It’s my first marathon, and I’m running it with my Dad! I’m proud to be supporting RFUK. We all know that rainforests are under threat, but living in the UK makes it feel like these threats are too far away to control. Now, I've got a huge opportunity to do my bit – I can’t wait!”


  • Bob Ward is policy and communications director at the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is his third marathon, and first one in the UK.

“I want to raise both money and awareness for the extremely important work of the Foundation in tackling climate change and biodiversity loss by protecting the world’s rainforests.”


  • James Byrne is a Conservation Manager for the Wildlife Trusts Wales helping to maintain and enhance the amazing wildlife of Wales. But James’ first love as a child was always rainforests, inspired in part by David Attenborough’s trips to the tropics.

“I’m running for RFUK not just to protect the amazing and abundant wildlife rainforests support but because they are vital for people also as they give us nearly 30% of our oxygen, 25% of our medicine and soak up our greenhouse gases.”


“This is my first marathon and a perfect opportunity to fundraise for RFUK. Their work to protect our rainforests and the indigenous people and wildlife that depend on them is undeniably a worthy cause of support!”



  • Emma, from Lebu in Chile, is a travel agent who has been running with her husband for five years. This is her fourth marathon. She is running for RFUK to protect the rainforest.

“I decided to run for the Rainforest Foundation UK because here in Chile we have a long rainforest especially in the south and in my original town. So helping the Rainforest Foundation, I know that I'll help the ecosystem and the future of the environment worldwide.”


  • Andy Valentine is a logistics manager and has enjoyed running for many years.  Whilst he has competed in numerous events, including half-marathons, this year’s Virgin London Marathon will be Andy’s first full marathon. He is delighted to be running for RFUK.

“I am particularly pleased to be supporting a great charity that campaigns for both the environment and human rights. Supporting the indigenous people of the rainforests, who otherwise might not have a voice, is particularly important to me.”  


  • Parvin Sura is a dentist who was born and raised in Kenya. He has a passion for charity fundraising initiatives, especially involving fitness challenges.

"Having ran my first half marathon last year, I thought I would double that and attempt my first marathon this year! I am a keen runner in my spare time, and thought it would be great to run for RFUK. The fantastic work being done to aid rainforest conservation and support of the indigenous people based there appealed to me, and I am delighted to be able to raise funds towards this worthy cause!"


  • Daniel Davies works with RFUK in the programmes team helping to support the overseas work of RFUK in the rainforests of the Congo Basin and Amazon. He’s a keen sportsman and loves running, although this will be his first marathon attempt!

“I’m really looking forward to the challenge of running a marathon for the first time while also helping RFUK to continue the successful work we undertake with indigenous communities who remain the most important protectors of rainforests worldwide.”


  • Kevin Ponniah is an Australian journalist who has settled in London after a few years reporting from Cambodia, a country with one of the highest deforestation rates in the world. This is his first marathon.

“I am very proud to dedicate my first-ever marathon to help some of the world’s most vulnerable people defend their rights in the face of multiple forms of injustice”

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