Prince Harry Surprises London Marathon Runners in LA as Race Turns Virtual
By Jennifer Drysdale
Prince Harry is still able to support some of his patronages from across the pond. The Duke of Sussex, who is a patron of the London Marathon Charitable Trust, surprised a couple in Los Angeles who was supposed to run the race this year.
The London Marathon was supposed to take place in April, but was postponed until October due to the coronavirus outbreak. With the pandemic ongoing, the race started on Sunday virtually, with runners around the world participating from their home bases, through an app.
Chudney Espiritu and her husband, Mark, were a couple of those runners -- taking on the 26.2 miles at home in Los Angeles. That's where Harry surprised them.
"London Marathon reached out to us since they are looking for LA runners," Chudney wrote on Instagram. "They asked if we have an inspiring story to tell behind our love of running. Mark emailed them back- 'My wife has an inspiring story to tell.'"
Chudney submitted an essay about her cancer journey, and how running changed her life "for the better."
"I also mentioned that I decided to still run the virtual marathon because it is their 40th & it is my 40th too!" she shared, noting that she is also "dedicating this run for my mom."
Chudney and her husband were then told that the London Marathon ambassador in Los Angeles wanted to meet her and Mark.
"We found out that the ambassador was the Duke of Sussex! Prince Harry!!! 😱 He is so laid-back and very down to earth. He actually asked if it is okay for us to sit on the floor," Chudney said, adding that the group wore masks and maintained social distancing. "The interview was more of like a chat with a friend. ♥️ What an experience this was. I never imagined myself chatting with Prince Harry. 😅 This is one for the books. I will never forget this day. 🤴🏼💙."
Harry -- who lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Meghan Markle, and son, Archie -- was supposed to attend this year's London Marathon in person. In his absence, the royal sent a message of encouragement to those participating in the race across the globe.