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Ipswich: St Elizabeth Hospice runners set for London Marathon effort

PUBLISHED: 18:19 05 February 2014 | UPDATED: 18:19 05 February 2014

Running for the St Elizabeth Hospice in the London Marathon are (l-r) Andrew Robertson, Jess Batih, Emma Hibbert, Dan Humphries and Lauren Everitt.

Running for the St Elizabeth Hospice in the London Marathon are (l-r) Andrew Robertson, Jess Batih, Emma Hibbert, Dan Humphries and Lauren Everitt.

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A dedicated team of 10 runners will be donning their trainers to take part in this year’s Virgin London Marathon.

The group, running in support of St Elizabeth Hospice, will join more than 35,000 people on April 13 as they tackle the 26.2 mile endurance challenge.

Ali Stafford, 21, from Ipswich, is running in memory of family friend Royce Fosdike, who was cared for by the hospice before he died nearly two years ago aged 25.

He said: “Having worked closely with Royce’s family for several years, I know how grateful they are for the care he received, so I wanted to do something to help support the hospice.”

Student nurse Jessica Batih, 25, is taking part to thank the hospice for the care given to her aunt Sue Barham, a current day patient.

She said: “I am so grateful for their support to her and our family.”

Woodbridge-based Emma Hibbert’s father had several stays at the hospice after battling cancer.

She said: “I absolutely dreaded the first time I went to visit my dad in the hospice; I thought it would be a terribly sad and depressing place.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong, and was amazed at how upbeat each visit was.”

Dan Humphries, 35, from Ipswich, is giving something back to the hospice after his grandfather Geoff Warner was cared for as an inpatient.

“I think the Hospice is an amazing facility, my mother and grandmother had such comfortable surroundings in which to spend to share my grandfather’s final moments,” he added.

“I made a vow to them that I would do something to raise money for the Hospice to show our thanks, so to get a London Marathon place has been absolutely brilliant.”

Fellow runner Lucia Johnstone, 23, is taking part as her mother volunteers on the inpatient unit at the hospice in Foxhall Road.

Ipswich Star reporter Lauren Everitt has had the race fall on her birthday. She was due to run last year but had to withdraw through injury.

She added: “I was really disappointed to have to pull out last year but running in 2014 has given me longer to train, so it’s been a blessing in disguise.”

The other runners are Andrew Robertson, 35, from Ipswich, Wendy Warner, Sam Willingale and Sarah Wood – all of whom have links to the hospice.

Last year’s marathon runners raised more than £12,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice.

The charity costs £9.1million a year to run and it relies on fundraising events, donations and incomes from its shops to meet those costs.

Anyone who is interested in running the London Marathon for St Elizabeth Hospice next year should call 01473 723600 for more information.

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