Thanks Noddy and Big Ears

Report by ANGELA SINGER THANK you little Noddy! That was the cry all the way when Noddy and Big Ears - aka Astrid Hawley and Andrew Cundy - ran the Flora London Marathon on Sunday. Astrid, 27, a town planner from Upwood, ran with colleague Andrew, 33, an

Report by ANGELA SINGER

THANK you little Noddy! That was the cry all the way when Noddy and Big Ears - aka Astrid Hawley and Andrew Cundy - ran the Flora London Marathon on Sunday.

Astrid, 27, a town planner from Upwood, ran with colleague Andrew, 33, and they finished in four hours and 55 minutes.

While Astrid was running for the first time, Andrew was running the 26 miles for the third, but together they raised £5,500 for a little-known charity for youngsters with liver disease.


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Their original target for The Children's Liver Disease Foundation had been £3,000.

Waiting for them at the finishing line with the rest of Astrid's family was her three-year-old niece Madeleine who was born with liver disease. Madeleine's favourite character is Noddy.

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Astrid said: "We ran every step of the way and only stopped once for a loo break near the Cutty Sark at the six-mile mark. We are absolutely thrilled. The crowd absolutely loved our costumes, especially Noddy.

"I never thought I would be able to keep up but it was such a lovely day. The support was amazing, we were cheered all along the way. People weren't sure what Andy's costume was but they were calling 'come on gnome man', and 'come on Papa Smurf' - but every step I heard 'come on Noddy!' Seeing the children's faces made it all worth while - they made us feel like celebrities."

Lucy Moore, 45, from Godmanchester, ran the 26 miles in four hours, two minutes and 51 seconds, shaving 19 minutes off lat year's time. She also doubled her target, raising £2,000 for the deafblind charity called Sense based in Peterborough.

Lucy, a mother-of-three who runs her own greetings card company, runs with the BRJ Club in Huntingdon, which entered 13 people in the marathon. She said: "There was tremendous support from the crowd, people were cheering you on and the BRJ Club had people at cheer points and when you hear your name it lifts you up. I could hear "come on Lucy" and it makes you run faster. Lucy came 167th out of women of her age group and 9,700th overall out of more than 26,000 runners.

Aimee Hockley, 23, commercial executive at Huntingdon Racecourse took "five hours at least" to complete her first London Marathon. Aimee, a former Longsands College pupil, told The Hunts Post: "It was terrible, they kept running out of water, but I managed to keep going and I am so glad I got round. I'm very pleased I didn't stop because I thought I would flake out. It was very emotional. The atmosphere was amazing. My boyfriend (a jockey) says he will definitely try to do it next year, so I will probably try to join him." Aimee, who is responsible for organising sponsorship and hospitality at the racecourse, and is a jockey, raised just over £1,000 for the Injured Jockey and Racing Welfare charities.

Antony Stevenson, running to raise money (£2,500 and still counting) for the MS Therapy Centre in Huntingdon completed his first London Marathon in five hours, 50 minutes. Depot manager for Atkins in Huntingdon, and a former Grenadier Guard, he said: "It was absolute murder really. I could see people collapsing so I walked and ran the last 12 miles. I thought I don't want to hurt myself, I am enjoying the day. The day was absolutely fantastic."

David Wilson and Thomas Mann, both former Hinchingbrooke School pupils, raised £2,250 for the charity Whizz-Kidz which provides mobility equipment for disabled children. David ran the course in four hours, 40 minutes and Tom, a trainee architect from Wyboston, in three hours, 56 minutes.

David, a trainee accountant from Spaldwick, said: "The heat and humidity took a major effect on us and after passing the halfway mark, it was our sole goal just to get around safely. This was the hardest experience of our lives but the reward of crossing the finishing line is one I will never forget.

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