Marathon challenge for charity runners

Emma Holttum

Emma Holttum

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After months of training and pounding Peterborough pavements for seemingly never ending miles, city runners will face one of the most iconic races this weekend when they take on The London Marathon.

Thousands of people will line up at the start of the 26- mile race on Sunday, with a number of Peterborough runners taking part.

Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker

The city fundraisers will join fellow amateurs, and celebrities including Olympian Helen Glover, pop stars Scouting for Girls and EastEnders’ star Adam Woodyatt.

Paramedic Lesley Hall, 39, from Wansford, will raise money for the British Lung Foundation after watching her dad suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for over a decade. She said: “I’ve never run a whole marathon before, but having my friends and family all supporting me has really made training easier. I figure that being out of breath for 26 miles is a small challenge when the likes of my lovely dad can’t even make a flight of stairs without fighting for breath. Raising money for research to improve the quality of life for so many living with lung disease is so important.”

Claire Roberts, a fitness instructor from Yaxley and Wouter Van Rijn, a senior marketing executive from Woodston, will be raising money for Deafblind UK.

Claire said: “Being a fitness instructor and personal trainer has been such an advantage when it comes to training, my colleagues have been really supportive and have given me advice and tips along the way.”

Lesley Hall

Lesley Hall

Abi Whittles from Peterborough will be supporting the YMCA as she completes the run. She said: “My sister works for the charity and her dedication, and the dedication of the other people in YMCA Cambridgeshire & Peterborough has made a significant impact to the lives of many disadvantaged young people in the area.”

Rebecca Walker (39), will be raising money for animal charity PDSA over the run. Rebecca said: “To know that I’ll be running on behalf of sick and injured pets means so much to me – animals are a huge part of my life. ”

Emma Holttum from Stamford will be fundraising for the Evergreen Care Trust. She was inspired to run after watching last year’s event, and said: “Evergreen offer many vital services for older people, ensuring their clients never feel isolated. I initially contacted Evergreen after losing my dear grandad, when, for over a year I had a big hole that I could not seem to fill.

“My grandad was such a caring man and even though we’d visit and take him out, he was still lonely. A day without a knock at the door or a phone call from a friend or relative must feel like weeks to an older person.”

A number of runners, including David Neal owner of Cirrus IT in Market Deeping in Cambridgeshire, will be running for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service.