The legacy of two major championships on British soil within three years continues to reap dividends for athletes north of the border, writes Ruth Jones
Crowley’s high hopes in LondonApril 10, 2014
Former high jumper Mark Crowley is ‘Ronning’ Sunday’s London Marathon in memory of fellow athlete Ed Prickett, who died 10 years ago
Mark Crowley, a former GB junior high jumper, is running the Virgin Money London Marathon this weekend for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund and in memory of Ed Prickett, the promising distance runner who died in a car accident in 2004.
Crowley and Prickett, pictured right, were good friends and on the same business course at university in Nottingham. The duo were also together when a speeding taxi hit Prickett as he crossed the road with Crowley outside Gateshead Stadium, where the British Universities Championships were being held.
The death of Prickett, who had won AAA 5000m gold as a junior, followed only a few days after Sam Haughian, another of Britain’s most talented young runners, was killed in a car accident in South Africa.
The driver was jailed for the death of the 21-year-old Prickett and now, as the 10-year anniversary of the incident approaches on May 2, the 6ft 3in Crowley is going to tackle 26.2 miles in memory of his friend.
“Ed’s family chose the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund at the time,” Crowley explains. “And the year after he died some of his university friends decided to run the London Marathon for the charity due to their links with Ed.”
After having made the GB team for the 2002 World Junior Championships – and with a best of 2.16m – Crowley was still training as a high jumper. But now, a decade later, he is keen to swap events for a good cause.
“When Jean Pickering passed away last year, it meant there was even more reason for me to really want to do it,” he says. “I received a grant from the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund when I was younger.”
» To read more on this story, see Athletics Weekly‘s April 10 issue. To sponsor Crowley, go to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MarkSeanCrowley.