Marathon effort all worthwhile
RUNNERS from Suffolk are nursing aching limbs today after raising thousands of pounds for worthy causes by competing in the London Marathon.A host of runners from the area took part in the punishing 26-mile event.
By Matt Eley
RUNNERS from Suffolk are nursing aching limbs today after raising thousands of pounds for worthy causes by competing in the London Marathon.
A host of runners from the area took part in the punishing 26-mile event. They were all of varying standards but one thing they had in common was a desire to cross the line to raise money for charity.
Turning 40 proved to be a tough ordeal for Woodbridge man Paul Excell who was celebrating his birthday.
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He said: "It was quite a painful experience but I feel fine now. It was my third marathon and I will keep doing them for as long as people sponsor me."
Mr Excell, of Melton Hill, completed the course in about four-and-a-half hours, raising around £2,000 for Multiple Sclerosis in the process.
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Greg Nunn, from Ipswich, was running to raise cash for the British Heart Foundation.
The 18-year-old said: "It was my first London Marathon and I chose the BHF because my family has a history of heart problems.
"If I can help make a difference to heart patients then I aim to do what I can."
Gregg raised in the region of £3,000 for the cause.
Another Ipswich runner, Robin Percy, was troubled by a knee injury but found inspiration in the form of a canary helped him over the line in just under five hours.
Mr Percy of Jewell View, Kesgrave, said: "Towards the end I saw someone dressed up as a canary and even though it had nothing to do with Norwich City I was determined to finish in front of him."
Mr Percy also thanked his son Thomas who ran with him from the sidelines for the final couple of miles to help him reach the end. He raised £2,000 for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute.
Paul Rea, who lives in the Warren Heath area of Ipswich, is already planning to run again next year.
The 36-year-old said: "The strangest thing is the amount of people from Ipswich that I just happened to bump into.
"I don't feel too bad at the moment, not too many aches and pains and I want to do it again next year."
He said believed he had raised about £800 for the charity.
Mr Rea, who was taking part in his first marathon, crossed the line in a time of three hours and 22 minutes.
Like most competitors Ipswich Jaffa runner Val Jennings praised the vast crowds that lined the streets.
She said: "When you cross the line it's so special. The crowds are amazing they really give you a lift – it doesn't matter if you are Paula Radcliffe of anybody else."
Mrs Jennings, from Rosecroft Road, Ipswich, completed the course in three hours and 35 minutes – raising £400 for the East Anglia Children's Hospice in the process.
Tony Farrell, of Poplar Hill, Stowmarket, raised about £1,000 for the Ormiston Children and Family Trust. He got round the course in about four hours.
He said: "It's a relief to know that I won't have to go running tomorrow."
"It was a great experience and I would say the best bit was definitely the finish line."
n Did you take part in this year's London Marathon? If so we want to hear from you. Telephone The Evening Star news desk and tell us your Marathon stories on 01473 282257.