Suffolk Heroes go the Distance

VIDEO Well done everybody!Hundreds of Suffolk runners will today be nursing their aching legs and feet safe in the knowledge that between them they will have managed to raise thousands of pounds for charity after running the Flora London Marathon.

WELL done everybody!

Hundreds of Suffolk runners will today be nursing their aching legs and feet safe in the knowledge that between them they will have managed to raise thousands of pounds for charity after running the Flora London Marathon.

They joined tens of thousands of runners from across the world to pound the 26 mile course around London yesterday.

Mixing with celebrities, professional athletes and even Maasai Warriors from northern Tanzania they put their best feet forward to raise money for charities close to their heart.

With typical April weather the runners endured everything from warm sunshine to pelting rain.

At the start of the race there was a carnival atmosphere as runners pulled on Lycra shorts and drank energy drinks while friends and family cheered them on.

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Dave Kay from Woodbridge ran the race in 3hrs 18mins. Mr Kay was running for the St John Ambulance in Suffolk.

He did his first marathon seven years ago and yesterday managed to knock ten minutes off his previous time.

Mr Kay a commercial pilot with British Airways said: “I made all the standard errors last time like starting off too fast and drinking too much water.”

He said his worst part was at 24 miles when the pain really started to kick in.

Lawrence Scarlet from Ipswich Jaffa Club completed the race in 3hrs and 2mins. He said: “There was a torrential downpour around the 18 mile mark and we got soaked. Running in wet socks and shoes is not good.

“There are moments when you don't enjoy it and you just want to be at the finish line but when you look back it is with a real sense of achievement.”

Mr Scarlet has run five marathons before and this is third time he has run the London marathon in the last 25 years.

He said: “The atmosphere is brilliant. You can't beat it for a race.

“There are people shouting all the way round the course. Sometimes it's quite deafening and when you are trying to concentrate it can be a bit disconcerting.”

Because of his good time, Mr Scarlet gets and automatic entrance into next years race but does not know whether he will take it up just yet. He added: “I think the saying is never say never.”

Tracey Wade of Woodbridge ran with friends Ruth Greggor, Mandy Brookes and Juliet Campbell-Barr to raise money for Victa (Visually impaired children taking action.)

The 36-year-old who works for Barclays in Ipswich said: “It went really well, we all finished in around 4.5hrs.

“We lost each other 13 miles in but managed to regroup which isn't bad considering there were nearly 40,000 people there.

“We're all suffering a little bit but there are no serious injuries but navigating the underground was interesting.”

n. Tell us your marathon experiences. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

On Friday we profiled a number of Suffolk runners in The Evening Star - here's how they did.

Dave Kay, 38, running for St John Ambulance in Suffolk finished in 3hrs 18mins

David Coley, 58, running for Oasis Trust finished in 5hrs 18mins

Huw Billingham, 41, running for The Prostate Cancer Charity finished in 4hrs 12mins

Lawrence Scarlet, 48, running for Ipswich JAFFA athletics club finished in 3hrs 2mins

Darren Ockelton, 20 running for NSPCC finished in 4hrs 6mins

Marc Emmanuel, 38, running for Evelina Children's Hospice Appeal finished in 4hrs 57mins

A MARATHON WITH A DIFFERENCE

WHILE runners in London were coping with sunshine and torrential rain, a soldier from the 16 Air Assault Brigade was doing it in the intense heat of Afghanistan.

British Para and Commando-trained soldier Major Al Jarvis ran the 'London' marathon, in circuits around his new home at the military base at Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan.

Maj Jarvis completed the distance in 38 laps of the small base, wearing his Osprey body armour which weighs approx 10kg.

Kicking off at 5am to avoid the intense heat of the day he took just over 6 hours to complete the course. He estimates he has raised nearly £1000 for the Army Benevolent Fund.

Troops on the base gave their support, organising collecting tins and cheering him on to keep up his moral on the repetitive route.

He said: “I'm really pleased to have finished the course, it was quite tough going at times but I pushed through. Thanks to everyone who supported me and who gave money. Altogether I've raised nearly £1000 for the Army benevolent fund who do fantastic work.”

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