Annual Windermere Swim/Run – 13 July 2013 – a glorious success!

15 July 2013 was Lara’s 28th Birthday. Lara’s birthday weekend was always a highlight of the social calendar and this year was no exception.

Lara's Foundation WIndermere swimmers are ready to get going!

We’re ready!

On Saturday, 13 July, 12 budding athletes braved the chilly waters of Lake Windermere to swim the 1.5 miles width and then run the 9 miles back around to the starting point.

It was a glorious sunny morning as, at just after 10am (being careful not to run into the ferry..) the wetsuit clad swimmer jumped into the water to begin their swim…guided by the deftly rowed rowing boat and a couple of kayaks.

Lara’s Foundation Windermere swimmers take to the water….

Lara's Foundation swimmers make it to the other side of Windermere

They made it!

Lara's Foundation Windermere runners at the ready!

Who’s for a run?!

Upon arriving at the other side, some of the swimmers whipped off their wet suits and donned their running gear, while those who were taking on the challenge in a team, high fived their running counterparts (rejoicing that they didn’t have to run 9 miles in the sweltering heat..).


The run that followed took the runners around the lake along roads and over bridges – and up and down A LOT of hills.  The midday sun beat down on them -but they kept on running!!!

They were cheered on and kept hydrated along the way by the raft of Lara’s Foundation supporters who came along to support our amazing athletes.

Lara's Foundation Windermere runners get going

Run boys run!

Once they had finished the run, all the Lara’s Foundation athletes (including Ed fresh from completing his Iron Man for Lara’s Foundation – there’s still time to sponsor him here) were greeted by a Jonesy picnic and oodles of Prosecco (and water obviously..) and were presented with special edition Lara’s Foundation medals!

The Lara's Foundation Windermere Challenge athletes

Well done everyone!


The day was so fabulous, and the athletes had such smiles on their faces when they had finished the challenge…..that we have decided to add to the challenge next year!  Watch this space but there is talk of a Lara’s Foundation triathlon!

The day was held to remember and celebrate Lara’s birthday, but also to raise lots of lovely cash for Lara’s Foundation!  And my goodness did we do that!!!!

Thanks to everyone’s hard work and astonishing generosity the current totals, which continue to rise so it’s not too late if you haven’t sponsored yet, are……

Team Jess and Matt – £1430.01  – you can sponsor team Jess and Matt here

Team Vaudin (Jones) – Wood – £2119.01 – you can sponsor team Vaudin – Wood here

Team Jack and Brack – £185 – you can sponsor team Jack and Brack here

Team Alice, Mary, Ben Ed & Seb – £870 – you can sponsor the team here

Soloist Gemma Forbes – £270 – you can sponsor Gemma here

Or to sponsor the team – click here

 Happy Birthday Lars xx

Happy Birthday Lars xxx

Which just leaves us to say THANK YOU to everybody involved in the 2013 Lara’s Foundation Windermere Challenge.  A special thank you to Alice for organising all the swimmers and runners (and ensuring they missed the ferry…), and here’s to next year!!



Reading Half Marathon…done!

Congratulations to The Wood Family who took to the streets in pouring rain to complete their half marathon challenge on Sunday 17 March.

Lara has been part of the Wood Family for 16 years, starting at age 11 with Gems at Westholme school, Lara moulded well into a ‘Woody’, joining us at family parties, holidays in France, Tenerife and Newquay, living with Jonny in London, partying at Reading festival with Chris, the list goes on…

Lara is a loved member of the family, and in recognition of this fantastic charity in memory of Lara, we are committed to raising money to support her Foundation and to let Lara’s name live on and her dreams come true. It is quite rare for the ‘Wood’ clan to all be in one place at one time, so to run 13 miles together will be a special day, all for Lara.”

Here’s what Gemma had to say about the experience:


‘Our time was 2 hours 15 mins and 59 seconds. We started pretty slowly, with us all soaking wet through and numb to the bone after standing in the pouring rain for an hour before we started! But once we got going we all warmed up nicely and then the tingling burning sensations started in our toes and fingers! Mile 3 we were greeted with water, which we all eagerly swooped out of the hands of the kind supporters standing at the side. But as you can imagine, a litre of water in a soft plastic wrap can only mean one thing…WATER FIGHT!!!!!!! Lots of giggles were had until we got told off!!! There were lots of fab supporters around, loads of stands offering sweets, water, Vaseline (apparently good for the nipple chaffing!) and playing music to help us along the way. ‘

Donations are still pouring in with the Wood’s total now over an amazing £3,000!


Lara worked at EC London for over a year and her boundless enthusiasm and dedication touched  and inspired us all. Since the foundation was set up in her memory, everyone at EC has been keen to get involved and find ways to support the cause. Here are a few of the things we have done so far:

Lara FridayEC Lara Friday

The 15th June 2012 saw EC’s first Lara Friday. To coincide with the end of our spring term, the day was declared a colourful celebration of Lara’s life and legacy, and with the help of teachers, staff and students the event saw us raise over £800.

EC Olympics

This started on Opening Ceremony day where staff and students paid to wear clothes in the colours of the Olympic rings, and to have their photo taken with our very own Olympic torches.

The EC Olympics came to a close on Saturday 25th August, with a day of competitive events.

‘It was so much fun, Lara would have loved it-all the students came along for a Saturday of EC Olympics, which was supposed to be in Regent’s Park but it was absolutely sheeting down with rain so we decamped to the local pub and did it all from there.  There was a treasure hunt through London (my team won!!), thumb wars, skipping races, egg and spoon, paper planes, limbo, eating competitions and loads of students got involved’.  Sarah Bryan

lara-teaching_0EC Teachers’ Great South Run

Congratulations and huge thanks to Daphne-Ann, Joe, Kat and Niva who ran the 10 miles of the Great South Run in just 1 hour 40 minutes! Amazing, what champs! If you’d like to donate to Team EC, please use the button at the bottom of the page.

The run was a lot of fun. We were all nervous before the race, as for three of us it was our first. The atmosphere was amazing. My favourite thing about the race was the fact that on every competitor had a sign on their back saying ‘I’m running for…’. Some of the signs offered some really interesting reading, while most were really inspirational.The night before the race we all went a little crazy with ours, making sure to have lots of colour and stars for Lara. Over 25,000 people took part with the majority running for charity. I was very proud to run for Lara’s Foundation. Even though it was windy and started to rain at mile 8, it really was a tremendous experience. Lara would have loved the atmosphere and crazy costumes people were wearing.” Daphne