Runners from the Melton Borough played their part in last Sunday’s London Marathon, so here’s how they all got on!
Freddie Allen, 28, from Pickwell, ran the course for equine charity, Brooke, in memory of his mum Jo who passed away in 2012. His mother adored animals especially horses, therefore this was the perfect cause for Freddie to support.
He said: “I felt a mixture of emotions as I crossed the finish line. My muscles, bones and joints all hurt having just pounded the roads for 26.2 miles, and I felt relief that the marathon was finally over. Once I saw my friends and family, that’s when the sadness struck, that I wasn’t able to give my mother a hug at the finish line.”
Freddie finished his run in a time of three hours 51 minutes. He’s now completed two marathons in two years and plans to give his body a well earned rest.
Experienced pilot Jeremy Greville-Heygate, from Burrough on the Hill, tackled the London Marathon with his wife Emma, for Blind Veterans UK, the national charity for vision-impaired ex-service men and women. Jeremy finished the course in four hours 26 minutes, while Emma completed it in five hours six minutes.
“We both had brilliant fun and really appreciated the Blind Veterans UK cheering point at mile 17. That was the hardest part of the course and really gave me a boost,” said Jeremy.
2017 is not the first time Jeremy has tackled a marathon course, having previously completed one in four hours 40 minutes whilst studying at Cambridge in 1980.
Melton mum Amy Parr completed her first marathon in a time of four hours 56 minutes. She’d set herself a target of sub five hours so was delighted with her achievement.
She said: “I was running for my daughter Lillie, because she was diagnosed with epilepsy a couple of years ago and I wanted to be able to give back to the Epilepsy Society. I’ve managed to raise £1,700.”
The first thing 32-year-old did when she crossed the finishing was give Lillie a huge hug.
Lisa Saddington, 38, from Melton, conquered her first marathon after getting shin splints only the week before. She wasn’t sure she’d be able to run which made her time of four hours 42 minutes even more impressive.
Lisa said: “I ran for Arthritis Care UK, my brother was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at 29, which is a life long condition he will battle with. I raised £2,700 jointly with friend Donna James.”
Melton mum of three, Donna James, accompanied Lisa on her marathon and helped raise money for Lisa’s charity.
She said: “I absolutely loved every minute of the race. It was a huge challenge but a thoroughly rewarding experience of a life time. I completed the marathon in four hours and 50 minutes.
“Crossing the finishing line was magical, what was extra special is out of the thousands of people running the race, in the crowded area of the finish line I looked to my left and I was stood next to Lisa at the end of the race. It was amazing to see her, we had done all of our training together and to see her at the end is a memory I shall treasure forever.”
With only six months preparation Sarah Szopa, from Frisby, completed the London course in a time of five hours 30 minutes.
The 44-year-old said: “It was so challenging due to the hot weather. I stuck to my training plan and kept myself well hydrated. Mile 19 was the toughest, it was so hot and I felt exhausted. I saw my mum at this point. When you see family in the crowd it really lifts you and carries you.”
Sarah raised over £5,000 for Sarcoma UK. She chose this charity because her husband has had a four year battle with soft tissue sarcoma and lost his right arm to cancer two years ago.
Former Holwell FC midfielder Graham Keast, from Melton, finished the London Marathon in a time of three hours 24 minutes.
Fulfilling a life ambition he said: “When I’d done it, I felt a feeling of relief that I made it. I also felt a sense of pride that my training had paid off and that I’d completed it in the time I’d strived to do it in.
The 39-year-old raised £2,500 for the National Deaf Children’s Society.
He added: “This cause was relevant to my family at the time of applying to run. My son’s hearing was being monitored and I wasn’t sure in the early months whether he was hearing everything he should. He later had a grommet operation and is progressing well. My wife is a primary school teacher and appreciates the importance of hearing sounds for speech development in early years. Something very close to both of us.”
The Duchess of Rutland, who was going to pound the streets of London for the Belvoir Cricket and Countryside Trust, unfortunately had to pull out of the marathon due to injury. She plans to defer her run to next year.