Imperial College London

Marathons completed by Chemical Engineering staff and students


Department marathon runners

We spoke to members of the department who have successfully completed marathons this year to say congratulations and find out what keeps them running.

sarah payne

Sarah Payne, Academic Administrator

Sarah completed the Brighton Marathon for the third time on April 15, running for an incredible 6:44:35 minutes. Her passion for running developed in 2014, following a challenge from her brother to run a marathon. Since then Sarah has completed over 190 Parkruns, as well as many 10K races and half marathons.

One of the things she loves about running is the freedom it brings, and the distance a person can go. She said: “It’s amazing what you can do – I’ve surprised myself with running. My recommendation for anyone wanting to get into it is to just do it”.

She added that she’s felt the positive impact of training on several areas of her life, saying that the drive and determination needed to get through training has improved her overall resilience. “The training itself is definitely harder than the race, but it’s all worth it in the end. I just wish I had started sooner!”

Lyes Kahouadji, Research Associatelyes

Lyes also ran the Brighton marathon this year, finishing his race in 4:29:25 and just beating his target time of 4:30:00. He takes his inspiration from Katherine Switzer, the first woman to officially run the Boston marathon in 1967, who faced a struggle to be able to compete alongside men. She ran the same marathon again last year, finishing at 4:44:31. Yes said: “When you see someone accomplish such an achievement you can’t complain, and you have no excuse not to run”.

His partner, an ex-Olympic athlete, encouraged him to start running and helped him build a training programme. Lyes says his enjoyment comes as much from the training as from running the marathon at the end. “It’s the effort you put into training which is satisfying; the structure and the feeling of running against yourself to get better and faster. It’s as much about the mental endurance as it is about the physical.”

He’d like to give a special mention and a thanks to his partner Alison for her support and motivation, and hopes to train with someone with a visual impairment for the next marathon


Rraviavi Shankar, PhD student

Ravi ran the London Marathon this year to raise money for The Children’s Trust, one of the leading charities in the UK specialising in treating young children with brain and head injuries. Whilst watching the marathon on tv last year he set himself a goal to be on the starting line in 2018 – which he met with an impressive time of 4:12:26.

Commenting on the race, Ravi said: “Despite being the hottest London Marathon in history, making it twice as difficulty for all of the runners, the race itself was just simply brilliant. The crowd support was just electric throughout and it was such a special feeling to have hundreds of people cheering your name for 26.2 miles!”

Ravi raised a total of £2000 for The Children’s Trust, with support and donations from family, friends, colleagues, and well-wishers from all across the world. Ravi said: “The Children’s Trust have done some amazing work in the past few years by improving children’s lives, and it’s a very rewarding feeling to know that these donations are going towards supporting such a wonderful cause.”

His advice for anyone wanting to start running is to enjoy it and have fun while you run. He added: Start slow with an easy pace and gradually build up your distance and/or speed when you feel ready. Remember to give yourselves rest days as well, we all need them.”

Congratulations to Sarah, Lyes and Ravi for completing their races! If you have an achievement that you'd like to share please email 


Sara West

Sara West
Department of Chemical Engineering

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