Local runners take part in London Marathon

Team of Stamfordians who are taking part in One Big Effort.
Team of Stamfordians who are taking part in One Big Effort.
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The months of training will finally pay off today (Sunday) as runners head to the capital for the Virgin Money London Marathon.

Scores from the Mercury area will take on the 26.2-mile course today with many hoping to raise funds for their chosen charities.

Penny Hedley Lewis, 65, from Corby Glen, will run for the 9th year. She got an automatic entry to this year’s race because she completed the race in under five hours, the time set for her age category, last year.

Penny is president of the Lincolnshire branch of Red Cross and will be raising money for the charity, adding to the £40,000 plus that she has handed over in recent years.

Penny said: “The Red Cross is better known for the work they do internationally. But what people don’t realise is that there’s a lot of work that is done in this country during flooding, for example and even road accidents.”

To contribute to Penny’s fundraising http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PennyHedleyLewis-1

Prison officer Carolyn Easton, from Bourne, works in a safe custody department and knows all about the problems faced by people who have mental health problems. Consequently, she has chosen Mind - National Association for Mental Health - as the charity for which she will raise a target £1,650 by running in the London Marathon.

The 35-year-old, who will be taking part in the race for the first time, said: “I know how tough it can be for people who have mental health issues, which is why I’ve decided to raise funds for Mind.”

To sponsor Carolyn text 70070cazx78£ and enter the amount you wish to give.

Matt Hall, 40, of Park Street, King’s Cliffe, will run for Anna’s Hope, the charity for young people and children with brain tumours.

This will be the first marathon for the director of Rockingham Cars, in Corby. Matt said: “One of my employee’s seven-year-old nephew was diagnosed with brain tumour in December and the charity is supporting the family right now.”

The charity was set up in 2006 by Rob and Carole Hughes in memory of their daughter Anna, who died from brain tumour aged three years and eight months.

Matt said: “I have not run a marathon before but, hopefully, the atmosphere of the will carry me and help me to complete the course.”

To sponsor Matt go to justgiving.com/matthew-hall15

Dan Sumpton, from Stamford, will be running with his brother-in-law David Mann. The pair are almost on target for the £6,000 that they hope to raise for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall hospice, in Peterborough.

Dan, 37, a prison teacher, said: “They do brilliant work and they are the only providers of palliative care in the whole area. Most of us know someone who has need their help.”

It is the first marathon for Dan. He added: “I thought it would be funny to take part. But once I started training I realised there was nothing funny about it.”

Despite being injured while running and having to take a few months off training to recover, Dan is back on track and has every intention of completing the 26 miles.

Kevin Bembridge, from Bourne, is running to raise funds for Asthma UK.

The 30-year-old whose has been training since last year, running 10 miles every other evening and at weekends, also wants to raise awareness of the charity because two members of his family are asthma suffers.

n To sponsor Kevin go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=kgb83