Marathon FinishersRunning 26.2 miles is no mean feat. On 22nd April 2018, barrister Ed Francis and paralegal Ginny Bicciolo did just that, taking on the challenge to run what turned out to be the hottest London Marathon on record, raising vital funds for the Bar Pro Bono Unit and access to justice.

The Bar Pro Bono Unit was delighted by the passion and commitment to pro bono work demonstrated by these two runners, who both surpassed their fundraising targets. Despite their rigorous training schedules, they found time to put on fundraising events and to talk to people about why they were running to support the Unit. Ginny raised a tremendous £2,689 and Ed an incredible £3,500! Ginny’s fundraising will be split 50-50 between the Bar Pro Bono Unit and the Free Representation Unit, and Ed’s will be split 90-10 respectively between the two pro bono charities. For Ed, his fundraising was a central part of the training and kept him focused on the finish line:

"It was not just an amazing day, but an exhilarating three months which will live large in my memory.  The task of training for a 26.2 mile run seemed monumental but was made so much easier as donations kept coming in towards my fundraising target.  And the run itself was the hardest thing I've ever done but the sense of achievement in getting to the finish line for the Unit made the pain irrelevant.  I'm very honoured to have run for the Unit - an incomparable experience."

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Despite the soaring temperatures on the day, Ginny finished the race in an impressive 5 hours and 16 minutes, while Ed pushed on to finish in 3 hours and 30 minutes. It was a tough challenge, but Ginny explained how the cause spurred her on through the race:

Running the 2018 London Marathon to fundraise for the Bar Pro Bono Unit was one of the most empowering and rewarding experiences of my life. There is nothing better than overcoming your physical and mental limits, while doing it for a cause that is close to your heart and will help so many people. This combination just gives you an inexhaustible boost, and you find yourself flying through those 26.2 miles!

The Bar Pro Bono Unit endeavours to help as many applicants as possible, matching them with our panel of volunteer barristers. A recent applicant to the Unit expressed his gratitude for the work that we do:

“I must take this opportunity to say 'thank you' to the team who came to my assistance in offering their valued service, energy and time. I am very grateful and there is no measure in stating my appreciation and my thanks to the team.”

Ginny and Ed’s decision to run the marathon for the Bar Pro Bono Unit raised an incredible amount of money that will enable us to improve the efficiency of our service and offer even more people access to justice. We cannot thank our wonderful marathon runners enough for this amazing demonstration of their dedication to pro bono work, and we are delighted to offer our congratulations for this fantastic achievement!

If you are keen to follow in their fast footsteps and want to run the marathon in support of the Unit next year, please email Or if cycling is more your thing, why not sign up for The Legal Wheel Appeal, our exciting London to Paris bike ride this September?