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Extra Virgin -  December 2011

See Saul run!

featureSaul Sassoon, Virgin Money head office's head of finance will be running the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday 22 April 2012. Saul has been with VMSA since March 2009 and this will be the first time he will compete in this prestigious event.

The Virgin London Marathon is one of the biggest running events in the world and has been held each spring in London since 1981. In addition to being one of the top five international marathons run over the traditional distance of 42.195 km (26 miles and 385 yards), the London Marathon also holds the Guinness world record as the largest annual fund raising event in the world.


Saul will be raising funds for The Children of Fire foundation. Children of Fire are Africa's first burns charity and are dedicated to the rehabilitation of young burn survivors. They strive to identify and facilitate the most expert and appropriate medical procedures and care to children dealing with devastating injuries. Their approach to treatment is holistic and involves healing mind, body and spirit. (

We sat down with Saul and interviewed him and this is what he had to say:

Q. What enticed you to run the marathon?
SS: "I watched the London marathon on TV last year and it just looked like it had the most unbelievable vibe and atmosphere. I saw all the Virgin Money logos and branding and I felt an immediate camaraderie as a Virgin money employee. I thought how I would love to run the marathon one day soon….. "
Q. Will this be your biggest marathon to date?
SS: "Yes, I have never done anything resembling a marathon before. I am planning to do 1 marathon before I attempt the London."
Q. How long have you been a runner and what do you like about running?
SS: "I started running about 2 years ago but not very seriously. I ran once or twice a week and never more than 8km and never in winter. Since I entered the marathon I am slowly becoming a more serious runner. I now run at least 3 times a week and am up to 15km. I am planning to run half marathons from the New Year in order to be ready for the marathon in April.

I enjoy the peace and tranquillity of being on the road and ever present potential to improve your time and distance. I also enjoy the feeling of satisfaction after a good run."
Q. What time are you hoping to make?
SS: "My aim is to finish the marathon in less than 4 hours but just to finish will be an achievement for me."
Q. What is your training regime like? Diet?
SS: "I train 3 times a week. I either run early in the mornings (5.30) or at night after I put my daughter to sleep. I also play soccer to help my fitness level. I try to eat 3 balanced meals a day."
Q. What will this mean to you on a personal level?
SS: "I think it will be a great achievement for me. I can imagine the feeling of training for 6 months and it all coming together on the day. If I can run a marathon I can do anything."

Q. Why did you choose your charity, Children of Fire?
SS: "As a father, the wellbeing of children is close to my heart and I hope to think that helping child burn victims is an extremely important cause. The people that work at "children of Fire" are extremely dedicated at helping all children in need and I hope that this will be the beginning of a very positive relationship between them and Virgin Money.

Q. How much money are you hoping to raise through your efforts?
SS: "I am hoping to raise 100K for "children of Fire"

Keep an eye out for Saul on our website ( in the New Year where we will be putting up details for donations should you wish to support him in this charitable cause.