Marathon woman

12 April 2012 

On reaching a milestone birthday last year, the BHA’s Chief Executive, Cristal Sumner, decided it was time to fulfil a long-standing ambition and run a marathon. Recognising her athletic endeavour as an opportunity to raise funds for her favourite charity, the British Homeopathic Association, she also sought sponsorship from family, friends and colleagues, with the aim of reaching a target of £2,000.

Cristal is a keen runner but had never before attempted anything close to the 26.2 miles marathon distance. She embarked on a rigorous training programme and with race day approaching was confident she could complete the course in under five hours. But with only weeks to go before the event she suffered a knee injury which hampered her final preparations, and then just days before the race she went down with a heavy cold.

Despite not feeling on top form, on 1st April Cristal lined up with 1,000 other athletes and fun runners at the start of the Sussex marathon.

“The course featured a series of very steep inclines and was much tougher than I expected,” says Cristal. “After seven miles my lungs were burning from the effects of the cold I had and I seriously doubted whether I could continue for another 19 miles.”

But with the dogged determination and indomitable spirit for which Cristal is well known, she did complete the gruelling course, crossing the finishing line in just over five hours. Although exhausted by the effort, she was delighted to learn she had exceeded her fund raising target with the total amount currently standing at just under £3,000.

“I would like to thank everyone for their donations and support,” says Cristal. “It certainly made running every painful mile and the aching muscles worth it.”

The money Cristal has raised will help fund some of the important work the BHA does for homeopathy, including informational videos, public events, awareness campaigns, homeopathic clinics, educational support and research.

If you didn’t get around to sponsoring Cristal but would like to make a donation, please visit the BHA’s page on the Just Giving website at