Amateur athletes completed life long dreams and honoured beloved friends and family as they completed one of the most famous races in the world.
Dedicated Peterborough fundraisers were among the crowds taking part in the London Marathon last weekend - and each had their own story to tell about the inspiring race.
Grandfather Del Singh was seen by millions when he was interviewed on Tower Bridge as part of the BBC’s coverage. His story of losing weight after having gastric surgery was picked up during the broadcaster’s highlights show.
Del, who was raising money for Cancer Research UK, said: “The race was brilliant. I had my name on the front of my shirt, and the crowds were shouting my name. At 24 miles I was not feeling good, but the crowd lifted me.”
Mark Buttress from Stamford was raising money for local children’s brain tumour charity Anna’s Hope. He beat his four hour target by nearly two minutes, and has also raised more than £2,000 for the cause. He said: “This was the third time I have run the London Marathon. The atmosphere and crowds were amazing as always at a fantastic, well run event. The course is reasonably flat compared to where I’ve trained so I think that helped my legs towards the end of the race.”
Kevin Benton managed to beat the four-and-a-half hours mark - but rather than putting his feet up for a much deserved rest, he is now preparing for the Milton Keynes Marathon next week. He has also managed to raise £1500 for Ambition Aspire.
There were seven runners raising money for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
One of the runners, Joanna Cook, ran the London Marathon to honour her mother’s memory. Joanna’s mother Julia Lee was cared for at the hospice. Joanna raised £2,878.
She said: “The marathon went better than I expected. I loved every minute of it. I felt it was one of my greatest personal achievements, not only physically, but also in terms of raising funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.”
Nicola Pike ran the marathon in memory of her late Grandad Eric,who was cared for at the hospice. She also ran in memory of her Nanna Jean and Nanna Sadie. Nicola has raised £3,630. It was not plain sailing for Nicola, as she suffered an injury at mile 15 of the 26 mile course - but she said she was ‘never not going to finish.’ She said: “When I crossed the finish line I was feeling a mixture of dazed, relief and happiness, and I cried tears of joy that I had made it! I can’t even describe the overall feeling, it was just overwhelming!”
Emma Willis (27) was running in memory of her husband James, who died after suffering a brain haemorrhage in December. She has now raised more than £15,000 for Sarcoma UK.
Julie Tebb, Informatics Training and Support Officer at Peterborough City Hospital ran for the charity Hypopara UK – a charity which funds research into parathyroid conditions - after being diagnosed with Primary Hyperparathyroid disease in early 2018. She said: “I finished in 5 hours 38 minutes and have raised just over £600. I was running for everyone who has been on the same journey as me.
“I ran with my glove puppet Sweep and all the children lining the course were high-fiving me as I ran past!”
Stephen Graves, former Chief Executive of North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust raised just over £3,500 for the Dementia Revolution charities Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK in memory of his father and father-in-law.