Marathon runners tell of pain and rewards

FOR charity, an incredible sense of achievement or fitness – dozens of runners from across the county took on the London Marathon yesterday, and won.

After months of gruelling training schedules the runners finally put their bodies to the test by joining the 37,500 who completed the 26.2 mile slog.

Under bright sunshine the runners set off from Greenwich at 9.45am before crossing the finishing line some hours later.

Among them was 46-year-old Mark Buckby from Irthingborough who completed the race in four hours 26 minutes. The race was his fourth marathon and he used the challenge to raise £1,500 for a charity supporting people with brain injuries called Headway East Northants.

After the race he said: “It’s always the same – the first 17 to 18 miles are fine but then it gets really tough, I’m just relieved to have finished.

“It was a great day out though and something I’d recommend anyone to try and do.”

Also running was father Mark Riddell who completed the race in three hours 57 minutes.

By doing the race he raised £1,500 for Kettering General Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit. It comes after the unit helped his nine-month-old sons Ethan and Aiden, who were born eight weeks early.

Mark, 38, of Anderson Drive, said: “That was my first marathon and it will be my last – it was tough.

“The race leaves your legs feeling so sore, I know it will take some time to recover.

“But it was worth doing to raise the money for the baby unit, they helped me so much.”

Another runner was Barton Seagrave resident Colin Cooper.

The 42-year-old finished the marathon in just over four hours.

Mr Cooper, who lives in Brington Drive, will split the £2,000 he has raised between charity Brainwaves and a fund for a three-year-old boy who suffers cerebral palsy.

Ryan Walden stuggles to move because of his muscle weakness and requires help at a specialist centre in Somerset.

Mr Cooper said: “The weather was so hot, it made it even harder to complete the race, but I did it.

“The miles seem to get longer as you run, but the feeling after was great.

“I’m not sure I’ll be doing it again though.”

Ryan’s mother Carly said she appreciated the money raised by Mr Cooper.

The pair know each other through Mr Cooper’s wife who works alongside Mrs Walden at Kettering General Hospital.

She said: “The money given is a real help to getting Ryan the treatment he regularly needs.”

A host of celebrities joined the thousands of runners and amateur athletes at the famous race.