Shopkeeper and gin-maker among Melton’s London Marathon runners this weekend

A shopkeeper and a gin-maker are among the Melton people taking on the challenge of Sunday’s Virgin Money London Marathon.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 10:42 am
Updated Thursday, 30th September 2021, 10:42 am
The medals awarded to those who complete Sunday's 2021 London Marathon EMN-210930-103832001

The event has been rescheduled several times since it was first postponed in April 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

Many who are taking part this weekend have been in training since then and they are raring to go, with the added motivation of raising vital cash for worthy causes.

l Former Melton Times editor, Michael Cooke, who now owns the Melton Sports shop on King Street, is running to raise money for the Belvoir Cricket & Countryside Trust with fellow supporter of the organisation, Harry Chatfeild-Roberts.

Melton Sports proprietor Michael Cooke PHOTO WHITEHOUSE PHOTOGRAPHY EMN-210929-115835001

The duo are hoping to raise more than £10,000 for the trust, which seeks to inspire children to lead healthy active lives through sporting opportunities and access to outdoor learning and which reaches 3,000 local youngsters every year.

Michael, who last ran the London Marathon 20 years ago, said helping the trust was a big motivation: “Our children have all missed out on so much over the last 16 months and it’s never seemed more important to get them outside, trying new sports and activities and learning more about our wonderful countryside.”

To sponsor Harry visit and to to pledge money for Michael’s run.

l Local businessman Bruce Midgley is running the marathon to raise money for the Matt Hampson Foundation, which supports people with life-changing injuries at their Get Busy Living Centre at Burrough on the Hill.

Bruce Midgley, owner of the Brentingby Gin distillery, who is running the London Marathon EMN-210929-120018001

Bruce, who owns Brentingby Gin, has also brought out a special drink for the event - fittingly called Runners Ruin Gin - with all proceeds going to the Hampson cause too.

He said: “Those who know me know I am built for comfort not for speed, and every once in a while I like to push the boundaries.

“I have been lucky enough to have been given an opportunity to run the London Marathon, to raise money for the charity for which I have a close connection.”

Go to to sponsor Bruce.

Andrew Wrath, who is running the London Marathon EMN-210929-120606001

l Melton man Andrew Wrath (52), is running his first 26-miler in the capital in aid of Hope for Justice, a UK charity that works in 10 countries, including this country, to end modern day slavery.

He has completed a number of marathons and ultra-marathons in the past.

Training has gone well and has taken in events such as the London Big Half, the Milton Keynes 20 and Equinox24.

He said: “I am feeling more prepared to run a marathon than ever before.

Emma Gardner and Kieron Clayton who are running the London Marathon on Sunday EMN-210929-115939001

“It’s great that we have such a supportive running community in Melton and I’m hoping that I may see a couple of them on the day.

“I have no specific target time but as it’s my first time in the London Marathon I just want to take the atmosphere in and really enjoy it.”

Go to to sponsor him.

l Friends Emma Gardner and Kieron Clayton have no real experience of running but they are determined to complete the 26 miles on Sunday.

Emma (32), of Melton, is being sponsored to raise for money for Together for Short Lives, which supports children with life-limiting conditions and their families.

And 35-year-old Kieron, of Asfordby, is raising funds for Melton Learning Hub, which provides learning and training for youngsters who don’t thrive in mainstream education and opportunities for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

To prepare for the marathon, and to generate extra funds for their causes, the duo staged a bootcamp marathoon earlier this month, at The Unit, on Burton Road.

Emma, a customer supply chain manager for Premier Foods, said: “The London Marathon will my biggest physical challenge to date.

“Having been a swimmer all my life I was converted to running during lockdown following the closure of the local pools.

“This time last year I couldn’t run 5k and now I am preparing myself to run a whopping 26 miles.”

Visit Emma’s fundraising page at and go to to pledge money for Kieron’s run.