Fast friends in first-ever marathon

Fast friends in first-ever marathon

Five QE old boys have teamed up to run the Paris Marathon for charity next month – the first time any of them have competed at such a distance.

Adeel Haque, Alister Heywood, Simon Nikolov, Jake Sittampalam and Jonathan Bradshaw, who were all at QE from 2005–2012, hope to raise £4,000 for The Children’s Trust, the UK’s leading charity for children with brain injury.

“As keen sportsmen who continued to remain active and play sport after leaving QE, we decided in September last year that we might like to complete a marathon at some point, despite our collective shortage of long-distance running history,” said Adeel.  “We were inspired by The Children’s Trust, a cause close to Simon’s heart in particular.” After an exchange of emails, the aspiration very quickly became a reality, with the charity offering the QE contingent, plus another friend, Parisian Clément Chenut, six places in the marathon on Sunday 12th April.

“Training has been hard through the winter months but is going pretty well and we are all quietly confident of finishing in at least respectable times. However, there does remain some trepidation for all of us as this is the first-ever marathon that any of us have attempted,” adds Adeel. Jonathan, Jake and Adeel went on a pre-season tour with the University of Warwick Men’s Cricket Club in Barbados and so were able to continue their training in warmer climates.

“Having known each other for almost ten years now (since September 2005 when we joined QE), our friendship goes back a long way. Simon, Alister, Jonny and I became friends whilst playing rugby together for the School, and Jake, Jonny and I all represented the School at cricket. We were, of course, also in many of the same classes together.”

“Despite the challenge ahead of us, we remain motivated by knowing that we are raising money for an excellent cause. We hope to reach our £4,000 fundraising target before long and so any donations from fellow QE alumni would be greatly appreciated!”

The group’s fundraising page is

Adeel also provided an update on each of the QE runners. All are in their final year at university, with four of them at the University of Warwick and the fifth, Alister Heywood, at York.

  • Adeel Haque and Simon Nikolov are both studying History. Adeel is due to commence his training contract with multinational law firm Baker & McKenzie in September 2017 after the completion of legal qualification courses at the University of Law, Moorgate. Simon aspires to become a commercial lawyer upon completion of his degree.
  • Alister Heywood and Jake Sittampalam are both reading English Literature. Alister plans to go into marketing/PR.
  • Jonathan Bradshaw is an Economics undergraduate and upon the completion of his degree, he will take up a position with FTI Consulting.

Pictured left to right are four of the group: Alister, Jake, Adeel and Jonathan.