Mara-fun runners raise thousands for charity

THOUSANDS of runners pounded the streets of the capital on Sunday for the 2008 Flora London Marathon and The Hunts Post caught up with some of the Huntingdonshire contingent for tales of rain, blisters and thousands of pounds raised for good causes. COAC

THOUSANDS of runners pounded the streets of the capital on Sunday for the 2008 Flora London Marathon and The Hunts Post caught up with some of the Huntingdonshire contingent for tales of rain, blisters and thousands of pounds raised for good causes.

COACHES, cars and trains headed to London on Sunday, ferrying Huntingdonshire athletes and fun-runners to the start lines.

Among them, Sandra Butler, 63, from Warboys, was running her 14th marathon and raising cash for the Children's Liver Disease Foundation.

Sandra's daughter Raelene died of acute liver failure in 2002 at the age of 25.

After completing the course in 5 hours 45 minutes, she said: "I was soaked through and if I had just been doing it for myself I might have stopped - but when it is for charity you go the extra mile."

Hunts Athletics Club member Ian Marshall, 29, from Wyton, just missed his three hour target, finishing 13 minutes over the mark.

Most Read

Running his first London marathon, Ian was raising money for The Hunts Post's New Life Appeal and will compete in an Iron Man event in July.

Second time marathon runner, Lisa Preston, 39, from Eynesbury finished the race in 5h 10min and has so far raised more than £1,000 for Children with Leukaemia.

Lisa said: "The best part is people cheering you on. I would do it again, even though I couldn't walk afterwards."

RAF Wyton worker Tim Ewbank, finished the race in 5h 4min. Although it was half an hour slower than he had been hoping for, the Colne man said he loved the whole experience and described it as a "26-mile carnival".

Tim, 42, who has raised £2,400 for the deafblind charity, said: "It was a really strange day. I got pushed past by a Womble and I overtook a Stormtrooper and a man wearing a thong." He added that he was seriously considering taking part next year.

Among the masses were 16 members of the Huntingdon-based BRJ Road Runners, 10 of whom set personal best times, and star runner Pete Galpin finished in overall 40th position.

Running his first marathon was John Finch, from Godmanchester, who raised £3,500 for the Starlight Children's Foundation.

John, 48, completed the course in four-and-a-half hours and said: "I had my name on my vest and everyone was shouting 'come on John' and I knew I had to just keep going. It was a fantastic experience that I will remember for the rest of my life."

Keith Douglas, 49, from Godmanchester, completed his first marathon in a time of 3h 47m after a previous unsuccessful application for a spot. He said: "The crowds were amazing - three and four people deep virtually the whole way round. I seemed to have a few Tarzans near me as I ran."

Jon Oldham, 37, from Buckden, ran his first marathon and said it would be his last despite raising £4,500 for the Anthony Nolan Trust.

He said: "This was the first thing I had done for charity and people have been very generous but it is a relief that it is over."

Overcoming depression and losing two stone in weight inspired energetic Slimming World member Robert Peckham from St Ives, to take raise £500 and still counting for the NSPCC. Robert said: "I've taken part in a number of half marathons and it was always my ambition to do the real thing and achieve the full 26 miles course. I'm thrilled to have done it."

Nigel Maggs, a Network Rail employee from Brampton, finished the marathon in 3h 32m on his fifth outing.

Nigel raised £300 for the Chase children's charity and said: "The atmosphere was really good when it rained people just put up their umbrellas and carried on cheering. I got soaked by the rain but it was welcome as it cooled me down."

Nykki Webber, 33, of Huntingdon, completed the marathon in 4h 23m. She said: "I am really pleased with my time. It was a great atmosphere and I am planning to take part next year." She ran with the BRJ Runners and raised more than £1,600 for Leonard Cheshire Disability.

St Ives man Pete German, 55, finished just five seconds outside four hours, while Sue Richardson, 48, from Bluntisham, finished seven minutes over the five-hour mark.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter