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Age and fitness is no barrier to running London Marathon course

London Marathaon 2017
London Marathaon 2017

Morag Roberts may be 73 but she is proving age is no barrier by taking part in the London Marathon for second consecutive year.

Stamford resident, Morag caught the running bug when she did a ten week course with Stamford Striders Running Club in February 2016.

Morag Robersts. By Lee Hellwing.
Morag Robersts. By Lee Hellwing.

The course inspired her to compete in the London Marathon and then the Royal Parks Half Marathon in October.

As if that wasn’t enough,on April 23, Morag who works part-time nurse as a nurse at Stamford Hospital will be joining thousands of others when she takes on the London Marathon again.

She may have been a keen sprinter in her teenage years but Morag did not run for much of her life until she joined the Stamford Striders Running Group course last year and now runs most days.

Morag said: “Since running, jogging and walking the 2016 marathon I have kept up my running by joining Striders.

Morag Robersts. By Lee Hellwing.
Morag Robersts. By Lee Hellwing.

“I am not a fast runner, I run at my own pace, so very often I can be seen happily running at the rear of the group. I go to the Parkrun at Rutland Water on a Saturday morning which I find is a good healthy and social activity.”

The pensioner will be running in aid of the British Red Cross, which she worked with when she served as a nurse in the British Army.

Morag has used each of her runs to fundraise for the British Red Cross and so far she has raised more than £4,800 which will enable it to help people whose lives have been devastated by crises and disasters.

As part of her fundraising for the charity, Morag made and sold waffles at the Steamer Trading Cook Shop on the High Street in Stamford on Saturday, March 25.

Last time she took on the marathon, Morag completed it in six hours two minutes but she said she is hoping to go one better this time around and do it under six hours

To sponsor Morag then visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MoragRoberts

l Nick Crowson is not content with just running the London Marathon so he will be running 26.2 miles off-road the next day.

Nick’s daughter, Phoebe, seven, suffers from recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (EB), which is a life-limiting skin disease, causing the skin to blister and breakaway from a slight touch. She also suffers from internal blistering.

To raise cash for Debra, the national charity that supports individuals and families affected by EB, Nick, who is from Barnack, will be taking on the London event before completing an exhausting weekend by running the equivalent distance of the marathon on his doorstep at Barnack Hills and Holes Nature Reserve.

Nick, 44, who will be taking part in his second run at 6pm the following day, said: “It’ll just be me, a GPS, and a torch for that expected late night finish somewhere around midnight.”

Nick, who works as property manager said he was inspired to raise cash for Debra because the charity had given fantastic support to his family.

Although he has set himself a tough challenge, Nick feels well prepared for his run and is currently clocking up 25 miles a week in training.

“Preparation is going well. I run most days.

“There is a saying, there is no substitute for just running.”

If you would like to make a donation to Nick visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com and search for Nicholas Crowson.

l Robert Barnes will be taking on the marathon in order to raise money for the event’s nominated charity, Heads Together, which supports people with mental health problems.

Up until December, Robert, 43, was used to running about two miles at the gym so training for a marathon has been a bit of a shock to his body but he is being spurred on by the support of his family.

Robert, who works as an architectural designer and is from Oakham, said: “To go from two miles so often to 26 is massive jump.

“I am nervous and exited. Completing the marathon is one of those things on my bucket list.

“My wife is a great support and I have my own fan club in my four children, who cheer and clap when I arrive home and say ‘well done Daddy!’

Robert has been training for six months , mainly in the Rutland area and recently ran 18 miles for the first time in his life.

He said: “I love running in Rutland because the villages and scenery are so lovely, particularly around Rutland Water.

“I just wish there weren’t so many hills!

Now I am getting into the bigger distances, I realise what a big distance it is to run for four hours [during the marathon] but there is going to be a lot of crowds and a lot of screaming and shouting - it is going to be great.”

Robert said that Jelly Babies will be his secret weapon on race day as he has discovered that the sweets are a great way of giving him an energy boost during the later stages of his recent runs.

“I try to load up on carbohydrate but you end up hitting a wall at 16 miles - the body is completely depleted of reserves.

“ I have been taking Jelly Babies and it seems to be working.”

“I always have a plentiful supply of Jelly Babies with me to keep me going and always stop at the chip shop on the way home to load up on carbs!

“Despite my diet of largely Jelly Babies and chips I have lost over a stone in weight and at the age of 43, am the fittest I have ever been.”

If you would like to donate to Robert visit the uk.Virginmoneygiving.com/robertbarnes4

l Don’t miss next week’s Mercury when we’ll have more details of London Marathon runners.


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