St Albans marathon runner met royalty at Heads Together training event

Laura Coad and other runners at the Heads Together London Marathon training day

Laura Coad and other runners at the Heads Together London Marathon training day - Credit: Archant

A star-struck long-distance runner from St Albans mingled with royalty recently at a London Marathon training event in the capital.

Prince William at the Heads Together London Marathon training day

Prince William at the Heads Together London Marathon training day - Credit: Archant

Laura Coad, 26, is taking on the famous 26-mile run for Mind in Mid Herts – one of seven charities which combine to make Heads Together, the Virgin Money London Marathon’s charity of the year.

Prince Harry and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, attended the training event at the Copper Box Arena in the former Olympic Park.

They were supporting Heads Together because they launched the campaign, which aims to de-stigmatise mental health issues.

Other famous faces, including Paula Radcliffe and 400m Olympic runner Iwan Thomas, were also there.


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Entrants trained, got advice about running, nutrition and training skills, and socialised with other runners.

The royal trio spoke about mental health and competed in their own relay - which Prince Harry won.

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Laura said she was trying to take a picture of Harry, when he saw her and came over to say ‘hello’.

She added: “He walked over and talked to us about how we were doing.

“He was being really chatty, and really relaxed. It didn’t feel like he was a royal; it was like chatting to a guy down the pub.”

Kate was quieter, she said, but you could still see the ‘real connection’ between her and Prince William.

Laura, who lives in Jersey Farm, has been training since November last year and would like to finish the race in about four hours.

She works for Debenhams Ottaway LLP, which raised money throughout 2015 to 2016 in aid of Mind in Mid Herts.

The charity supports more than 1,300 people each year with mental health issues.

Other partners of Heads Together include Best Beginnings, The Campaign Against Living Miserably, Contact, Place2Be, The Mix, and YoungMinds.

To donate for Laura’s race, click here.

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