Air controller from Leamington hopes her London Marathon run will fly by

When Ellen Powell takes to the streets with 30,000 others taking part in the London Marathon she should be well skilled at keeping a safe distance between herself and the other runners.

Because the 40-year-old athlete spends her working day as an air traffic controller at Birmingham Airport keeping planes safely spaced when they come into land and take off.

Ellen, who lives in Suffolk Street,Leamington, made use of her job at the airport when she booked the night off and ran down the 3,003-metre runway between flights to raise awareness and donations for her chosen charity.

Ellen is running the 26.2- mile London Marathon on Sunday (April 26) for Get Kids Going!, which supports and encourages children and young people with disabilities to take part in sports and activities. It includes specially-adapted sports wheelchairs.

Ellen caught the running bug 12 months ago when she joined the Leamington-based Spa Striders running club and decided to run the marathon to set herself a challenge.


She said: “Although I’m really daunted by the thought of running the 26 miles, I’m also very excited, and blown over by how much support I’ve received from people. The airport kindly gave permission for me and a few colleagues to run the length of the runway on our night off to raise awareness, which was a fantastic experience.

“My mother, who sadly past away recently, worked with disabled children all her life so this charity is close to my heart – and if I can reach my £2,000 target and help just a few young peoples’ lives, then the pain of running the race will be worth it. Hopefully, I will have no problem keeping runners from bumping into me and I’m hoping the 26.2 miles will fly by.”

To donate to Ellen’s cause go to