As 2024 ballot results are announced, London Marathon legend Dave Lock urges successful applicants to join Team Samaritans, the official Charity of the Year
Seasoned ‘mara-phone’ runner, Dave Lock, otherwise known as Samaritans Running Telephone has answered the call to lead Team Samaritans at the 2024 TCS London Marathon. After more than half a million people entered, Dave is calling on all those who have successfully secured a ballot place today to join him.
Dave, from Woodford Green, will be lacing up his running shoes and donning his iconic telephone costume to take on his 25th consecutive London Marathon for Samaritans, the 2024 TCS London Marathon Charity of the Year. He will line up alongside his daughter Isabella who will be joining him for her first marathon. Dave and Isabella are urging anyone with a ballot entry to join Team Samaritans next year.
Having completed over 34 marathons, run almost 900 miles and raised nearly £50,000 for Samaritans, it’s safe to say that Dave knows what it takes to prepare yourself physically and mentally to take on this extraordinary challenge. He will be drawing upon his years’ of experience to give Team Samaritans’ runners the encouragement and emotional support they need to believe they can step across that start line.
Former Samaritans volunteer turned fundraiser, Dave said: “Running for Samaritans is both a privilege and a pleasure. Sometimes it feels easier to run 26.2 miles than to take a call as a Samaritans volunteer. I am as passionate about Samaritans' mission today as I was when I crossed the start line in Staten Island, New York for my first marathon for Samaritans in 1998. This felt especially true at this year’s TCS London Marathon which I dedicated to my brother Steven who took his own life in March. Through a mixture of tears, hugs and laughter I ran my most important marathon to date for Samaritans.
“I have called Samaritans a few times when I have faced some difficult personal issues. If it wasn’t for my association with the charity, knowing my own mental health, I would be in a much darker place – I’m not sure I would still be here. That’s why I am always on that start line as a telephone. It’s so important to me and it’s why I’d urge others to run for Samaritans too, and make sure the charity can continue to be there for other people in need.”
Radiohead drummer and Samaritans Ambassador, Philip Selway ran the London Marathon in 2002 for the suicide prevention charity alongside Dave and couldn’t think of anyone better suited to lead Team Samaritans.
Philip said: “No London Marathon would be complete without Dave the Running Telephone. Dave is a legend of the circuit and for me, he epitomises Samaritans, spreading hope and supporting others as they take on the challenge of a lifetime. No doubt he will bring his passion for running and the suicide prevention charity to the role of Team Captain for Samaritans at the TCS London Marathon 2024.”
The money raised by Team Samaritans participants at the 2024 TCS London Marathon will help Samaritans train more volunteers and help the charity keep its helpline open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Each night Samaritans’ listening volunteers answer 1,600 calls for help from people across the UK who are struggling to cope and help them to believe in tomorrow.
One of those callers was Francesca from Stevenage whose call to Samaritans inspired her to take on the TCS London Marathon for the charity in 2023. Francesca said: “When I was in the darkest place I had ever been in my life – the most desperate. Desperate for something to change in how I felt. When I was in that moment, I called Samaritans and I even began laughing at the end of that call. It gave me hope; that if I could feel ok at the end of that call, I would feel ok again in life. That’s why I chose to run for Samaritans.”
To join Team Samaritans and show you believe in tomorrow, use your ballot place to run the TCS London Marathon for Samaritans at https://www.samaritans.org/tcs-london-marathon-2024/ballot-runners-join/
Notes to editors
For more information or interview requests, please contact Samaritans Press Office at [email protected]
Samaritans partnership video, sees different people who have been supported by Samaritans volunteers share their stories in support of the charity, from losing loved ones to those who have experienced difficult times in life.
Participants will take to the streets of London and across the nation for the 2024 TCS London Marathon on Sunday 21 April. To get involved and show you believe in tomorrow and find out more about the Charity Partner of the Year partnership, visit https://www.samaritans.org/tcs-london-marathon-2024/
- Anyone can contact Samaritans FREE any time from any phone on 116 123, even a mobile without credit. This number won’t show up on your phone bill. Or you can visit www.samaritans.org
- Every 10 seconds, Samaritans responds to a call for help.
- Samaritans is a charity and it’s the public’s kind donations and 23,000 volunteers that mean we are always there for anyone struggling to cope. Find out how you can support us or volunteer with us.
- You can follow Samaritans on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
About London Marathon Events
- The 2024 TCS London Marathon will take place on Sunday 21 April 2024.
- The London Marathon was first held on 29 March 1981 and the millionth finisher in the history of the event crossed the line in 2016.
- The 2024 TCS London Marathon Official Charity of the Year is Samaritans.
- Since the first London Marathon in 1981, the event has raised more than £1 billion for charity.
- London Marathon Events gifts its surplus each year to The London Marathon Foundation.
- Since 1981, The London Marathon Foundation has awarded grants totaling in excess of £100 million to more than 1,500 projects in London and across the UK.
- London Marathon Foundation is the operating name of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, the parent charity of London Marathon Events.
- For more information, visit tcslondonmarathon.com