Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Raising thousands of pounds between them, and overcoming adversity, residents of Huntingdonshire took to the streets of London on Sunday to tackle the marathon. ALEX BINLEY reports on their stories and inspiration.
A year and a half after being hit by a car, breaking his spine, leg, and suffering head injuries so serious he had to be put into a medically induced coma, Rob Cracknell, 28, an insurance consultant, from Derwent Close, Huntingdon, completed the London Marathon in five hours and 36 minutes.
He was raising money for the Disabilities Trust, the charity which provided him with rehabilitative care. Cheered on by his mother and friends, he so far has raised almost £3,000.
Ben Howells, 38, from Stukeley Meadows, was unlucky with his run. When the runner in front of him dropped his water bottle, Ben trod on it and “popped” his ankle.
“It was excruciatingly painful,” he said. “But I thought ‘I have come too far and done too much training to stop’, so I hobbled along. At mile 25 I let out a roar and ran the last mile probably quicker than all the others.”
"Ben Howells, Huntingdon Gym coach"
On Monday he said his ankle was “like a balloon”, but insisted he would run the marathon again ... and beat his time of four and a half hours by at least 30 minutes. At present he has raised £1,400, to be split between Huntingdon Gymnastics Club, where he is a coach, and the Woodlands Cancer Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which treated his father through three bouts of cancer in the last six years.
Injury also beset Andrew Dibben, 29, forcing him to walk half the course after he pulled his hamstring on mile 13. “It didn’t go as planned,” he said. “I tried to run after I’d pulled it, but I just couldn’t.”
He didn’t let this deter him, completing the marathon in seven hours. The health club manager from Andrew Road, Eynesbury, has raised £1,200 for the Royal National Institute of Blind People which helped his mother, who is losing her sight.
Julia Tebbs, 41, of Ware Lane, Wyton, completed her 22nd marathon in five hours and 45 minutes, raising almost £3,000 for St John Ambulance. The business manager from Wyton said that although she did not get a personal best, she was happy with her time, having come back from some bad injuries.
Abi Halstead, 23, raised a phenomenal £5,066 for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, having had the condition since she was four. The graphic designer of Church Lane, Hilton, finished in five hours and 40 minutes, and was supported by her husband and parents.
A staggering £5,100 has been raised by Ade Tattersall for Great Ormond Street Hospital as a ‘thank you’ for the treatment staff provided for his stepson, Joseph, who suffers from heart defects. The 42-year-old bricklayer from Goshawk Close, Hartford, was cheered on by his family and finished in five hours 49 minutes. He ran with his friend Steve Smith, 33, who was raising money for the British Lung Foundation.
Sisters Clare Middlehurst, 40, Ann-Marie Fellows, 34, and Kathryn Middlehurst, 30, all from Huntingdon, ran together, finishing in six hours and four minutes. The trio have raised over £3,000 for Age UK. “Running together made it easier,” said Kathryn. “We’ve been running together for three years and we motivated each other.”
Husband and wife, Adam and Debra Lloyd, 48 and 53, of Beaufort Drive, Buckden, crossed the finish line together in five hours and 25 minutes. It was sales director Adam’s fourth marathon, and the first for Debra, who works in finance at Hinchingbrooke Hospital. The pair have raised £800 for Children with Cancer.
Jo Vasey, 37, of Beville, Woodwalton, raised £2,650 for Cavernoma Alliance UK (cavernomas are abnormal clusters of blood vessels in the brain), to help family friend, five-year-old Zane Smith who has the condition. The senior fraud investigator for VFM Services Limited, finished in five hours 45 minutes.
Sharon McCulloch, 43, ran the marathon in five hours and 20 minutes, raising £628 for Hemi Chat, which supports people with hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that causes mobility difficulties. Her nephew Ted, five, is one of the one in every thousand who have the condition. The PA from Fenstanton was cheered on by her husband, two children and friends.
David Gibbons also completed the course in five hours and 20 minutes, and so far has raised £600 for Cancer Research UK. The 25-year-old, from Leas Close, St Ives, who works in customer services for a digital print company, was cheered on by his girlfriend Lisa.
Tim Hyde, of Fenstanton, who is doing five marathons in five weeks, finished in four hours eight minutes.