Brilliant Club

Royal Parks Half Marathon 2023

16 Oct 2023

Last Sunday, we had five fantastic runners signed up to the Royal Parks Half Marathon on an unusually warm October morning, including four colleagues from our supporters ManGroup. Although sadly two runners had to drop out due to injuries, together they raised a fantastic £2,700 in aid of The Brilliant Club! This money will make a huge difference in helping less advantaged young people to access the most competitive universities in the UK and to succeed when they get there. After the race, we caught up with one of our runners Monja, who is currently doing her PhD on diaries of Kindertransport refugees and changing notions of belonging: 

“I’m a final year PhD student at the School of Advanced Study, University of London trying to write up my thesis – and what better way to keep me sane and get my daily steps in than to train for a half marathon in aid of The Brilliant Club while finishing my PhD! When I rolled my ankle in late May, I didn’t think I was running again soon, let alone 21.1km. Seeing the donations come in on my JustGiving page however was the motivation I needed to overcome that mental hurdle of fearing running. The best part? I actually fell in love with it!

Chelsea from Man Group on the move!

I was fortunate enough to get into the universities of my choice and to receive funding for my PhD project. However, I know this is sadly not the case for many people, especially for pupils from least advantaged backgrounds who are unable to access the most competitive universities in the UK. I feel very strongly about accessibility to higher education, equity and equal opportunities in HE. This is why I’m embarking on this adventure of running a half marathon and supporting the amazing work of the Brilliant Club who are also, by the way, not only helping pupils access higher education but also employ PhD students who often need the teaching experience for their development.” 

PhD student Monja and Rachel from Man Group at the finish!

If you’re interested in taking on a challenge and supporting The Brilliant Club, you can register your interest here or please get in touch with our Fundraising and Events Coordinator Joel at  

Are you a postgraduate like Monja? Want to share your research with a non-specialist audience or just want to help students realise their full potential? Become a Brilliant Club tutor! Find out more about the paid role and how you can get involved here.