Amazing day for runners and charities
A record number of competitors took part in last Sunday’s London Marathon. Organisers said 40,382 people were on the gruelling 26.2-mile run, 1,242 more than last year’s record high. Ashford saw a surge of generosity and support for charity with scores of
Ashford Tri Club member Mark Whittingham successfully completed the marathon for chosen charity, Home-Start Ashford & District, which offers friendship and support to families in the borough through its home-visiting service.
Mark said: “I chose them as they do amazing work both with home visits and groups. This is a charity well worth supporting and I have personally benefitted from their ‘Chill With Dad’ group which is open to dads and male carers with children under eight and runs two activities each month for families.
“I’m grateful to Ashford Tri Club for giving me their allocated space for the marathon. I had a wonderful day and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I will treasure my medal.”
To support Mark visit www. mydonate.bt.com/events/mark
James Kemp, a 40-year-old barristers clerk from Shadoxhurst finished the race in 3hrs 48mins, raising over £3,200 for The London Legal Support Trust (LLST) and over £1,200 for Cancer Research and the Pilgrims Hospice.
The LLST provides access to justice for the most vulnerable people in society who cannot afford legal advice.
He said: “The marathon has been on my bucket list since I started running about seven years ago. It seems appropriate to raise money for Cancer Research in memory of my late friend and in memory of all the people who have lost their lives to this terrible disease.
“I am also raising money for Pilgrims Hospices too who are amazing at providing specialist end of life care.
“After trying to get a ballot place in the London Marathon for the past seven years, I finally got my chance through The London Legal Support Trust Charity and it was all I imagined it would be and more, the crowd, the runners, the organisers, everyone involved were all truly amazing. A fantastic day I will never forget.”
To sponsor James visit his page on Virgin Money Giving
Lewisham Fire Station Watch Manager Daniel Capon completed his fifth London Marathon – raising over £1,000 for the Make-A-Wish children’s charity.
Wearing a full fire gear and his breathing apparatus set he finished in a time of 6hrs 5mins.
He said: “It was a tough, emotional and amazing day that was made extra special due to the support received whilst running.”
To sponsor Daniel visit his JustGiving page
Neil Buckley, 46, from Aldington finished in 4hrs 19mins 33secs in aid of Sapper Support, raising over £751 online.
Sapper Support is the only 24/7 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) help line staffed solely by veterans. It gives emotional and physical support to sufferers of PTSD and other associated men- tal health issues.
The ex-serviceman said “London was very emotional. It was nothing like any of the marathons I’d ran before. It was very emotional because of how supportive the crowds were, especially at the end when you’re looking back at Big Ben and all of the people that came to support you.”
Neil recently completed the Brighton Marathon and will also be running the upcoming North Downs 50 mile ultra race. To sponsor Neil visit his JustGiving page
Louise Cassey, a PE teacher at Ashford’s Highworth Grammar School finished in a time of 4hrs 55mins.
The teacher said: “I was pretty pleased with this as I was aiming for under five hours. I had a recurring injury during training that meant I couldn’t do as much as I had hoped close to the event but did okay in the end.
“It was an incredible day to be involved in. The crowds are amazing all the way round and definitely give you a lift when you need it most!”
Miss Cassey raised more than £3,000 for the blood cancer charity Anthony Nolan: “I chose to support this charity as I know a couple of people who they have helped with treatment for blood cancers.
“It is also our Clara Schumann community charity at school so my fundraising has involved a whole range of activities, includ- ing non-uniform days, craft and cake sales, a Christmas fair, finish time sweepstakes as well as generous donations from my family and friends.”
To donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/ LouCassey
Simply Ice Cream, the Bonnington based award-winning ice cream producer, supported the marathon by sponsoring legendary Olympian rower Major Heather Stanning MBE. The world’s number one female rower crossed the finish line in just 3hrs 32min.
All money raised will go to the Kent-based charity Royal British Legion Industries who support veterans and those with disabilities into employment.
Her Virgin Money giving page raised over £3,000 and will be live to receive donations for the next few weeks.
For more information on other fundraising for the charity visit www.heathermstanning.com
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry hand out medals to the finishers