THE London Marathon saw over 50,000 runners taking part bringing together professional and amateur athletes who were all determined to make the event a memorable milestone in their lives.
A number of local runners, who have been in training for several months, were also on the streets of London raising valuable funds for local and national charities.
Here’s how they got on.
There was a double celebration for Dominic Osborne and his partner Georgina Mason from Stratford on Sunday because moments after they crossed the finish line they got engaged. The couple ran the race in 5 hours 59 minutes and have so far raised £5713 for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Georgina, aged 26, was diagnosed with MS at the age of 17 but as Dominic says of his fiancée, “she has a ‘don’t take life for granted’ attitude and really enjoys running.”
Stratford’s Steven Smith has achieved the impossible by completing the London Marathon despite being told he would never walk again. Steven completed the marathon in 9 hours 17 minutes raising valuable funds in aid of the Nicholls Spinal Injury Foundation (nsif) a charity devoted to finding a cure for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury. Steven, aged 57, was attacked at his holiday home in the south of France in 2011 when armed men broke into his property. To escape them, he jumped out of a first floor window, fell into a ravine and broke his spine. He completed Sunday’s marathon with the aid of ski sticks and has raised over £56.6k so far plus £67.8k with gift aid.
David Curtis, artistic director at Orchestra of the Swan, finished his marathon in 4 hours and 20 minutes. He ran to raise money for the orchestra’s projects in care homes for people living with dementia. So far he’s raised £8,000.
Bidford’s Alison King completed a marathon double within the space of a week when she took on both the Boston and London Marathons.
“On Monday, I ran Boston Marathon and finished in 5:48:02 and raised $7262 for 261 Fearless, a women’s empowerment charity.
On Sunday I ran the London Marathon and crossed the line in 5:48:18, just 16 seconds slower than the previous week.
I have so far raised £1385 for the British Liver Trust in memory of my dad.”
Stratford mum Tamsin Richards, aged 44, completed the London Marathon in aid of Evelina London Children’s Hospital at the weekend, raising more than £6,000.
Tamsin chose to support the Children’s Hospital as her daughter Charlotte, aged nine, who suffers from juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is a patient there. Tamsin completed the course in five hours and 46 minutes.
Stuart Clarke from Burmington finished his marathon in five hours and 19 minutes and raised £3,300 for Children’s Liver Disease Foundation after his eldest son Robert was diagnosed with the condition. Thankfully Robert is now doing well after early corrective surgery.
Stratford’s Emily Russell raised an incredible £2,200 for the charity MIND at this year’s marathon, completing the course with university friend Alex Johnson.
Emily, 24, said: “My friend was actually quite sick so we stopped at the first aid tent for a while, so it wasn’t really about getting a good time for us, I was just so glad we stuck together and finished it, it was the right decision and I’m really proud of Alex. They allowed our family and friends onto the course at the end to help us keep going during that final stretch, which was lovely.”
Paramedic Kevin Balchin from Tiddington completed the marathon in a personal best time of three hours and three minutes, raising around £800 for Ronald McDonald House at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Kevin, 43, chose to support the charity in memory of ten-year-old Enzo Buquet, a friend of his son who passed away just before Christmas from lymphoma.
“I’m happy to have raised around £800, I’ve had such amazing support and I would like to thank my wife Tina for entering me in the marathon in the first place.”
Stratford’s Rebekah Grayson said: “I have survived the London marathon it was a truly epic experience! The sights, noise and supporters were on a scale I had not experienced before.
I came in at 4hours 48minutes 49seconds. I have raised £1260 for The Lullaby Trust and my overall target is £1850.
“Would I do it again? Yesterday the answer was no, today I am already thinking about the next!”
Graham Black from Halford finished the Toughest Race on Earth in the Sahara one weekend and was running in the London Marathon the next.
“Thanks to many supporters and the help of fellow runners from Stratford Athletic Club I finished the race, especially Wayne Vickers a good friend who dragged me round I managed a marathon time of 3:13, which is four minutes off my PB. My fund raising for Zoe’s Place Childrens’ Hospice continues.”
Alcester Academy head teacher Paul Hyde said: “This was my third London Marathon. I managed 3:33.56 which I was pleased with. I was aiming for around 3:30.0 so was not far off. I did not run for charity this year. Would I do it again? Yes! I have Chester and Snowdonia marathon lined up for October.”
The Old Thatch Tavern duo of Sean Davies and Jan Piotrowski from Stratford both completed the marathon. Jan finished in a time of 3 hours 25 minutes. Sean was on course for a personal best – his target was 3.15 – until a knee problem forced him under the supervision of St John Ambulance staff. In the end he crossed the line in 3.56.
Chris and Jo McCandless from Stratford had another successful marathon. Jo did a “fantastic PB” of 2.52.55, knocking five mins off her previous year. Chris said: “I struggled round and finished in 4.36 with the majority of the run on one leg after straining my hipflexor. Anyway we have raised over £5k potentially closer to £10k by the time all the Poundland store activities are collated.”
David Hall from Moreton in Marsh ran the marathon for Prostate Cancer UK in memory of his father. So far he’s raised £2,710, and he ran in 5hours 1minute. “I was hoping to come in under five but couldn’t do it on the day. I’m really pleased though as my main aim was to raise money and awareness for prostate cancer,” David said.
Anne Hemmings bought up in Stratford ran the marathon for Cedar Lodge care home where her father now lives.
Beckie, Anne’s 23-year-old daughter and David’s granddaughter completed with her mother in 5 hours 38 minutes.
They have raised over £1,000.
In January 2016 Christine Barnes from Stratford could just about complete three minutes on a running machine, last Sunday she competed in her first London Marathon and finished in five hours 41 minutes.
“I did park runs and 5k races and built up my stamina. I loved it, every bit of it and my family were there to support me. I raised £1,100 for Breast Cancer Now to support a friend of mine who has just been diagnosed,” Christine said.
Veteran marathon runner Dave Phillips raised £9,000 so that’s £107k in total from his ongoing challenge which has now seen him complete 477 marathons; on Sunday he crossed the finish line in 6hrs 2 mins.
Tim Boswell from Warwick took part in his sixth marathon on Sunday and completed the course in 3hrs 52 mins. This year Tim raised £550 for the mental health charity Heads Together which is supported by Prince William and his wife Kate. He chose the charity to help support people like his niece Meg Hawker. Tim also ran one year to support his sister Emma Hawker – Meg’s mum – while she underwent treatment for cancer.
Phil Roberts from Temple Herdewyke said: “The marathon went well, although I did suffer from an injury to my knee at the 20 mile point. I managed to work through the pain, and finished with a time of 4hrs 25. Crossing the line was incredible – floods of tears, exhausted, exhilarated… Hard to describe. The culmination of not just six months of training but over a decade of aspiring to run London, and never getting a place until this year. Without doubt the most emotional day of my life. I’ve raised £1,861 for Meningitis Research Foundation. I’d definitely do it again. Never experienced anything like it before in my life.”