THEY have been in training for weeks but on Sunday our marathon runners will be pounding the streets of London.
We wish them all luck in the 2012 Virgin London Marathon, especially as most are doing it for charity.
For some it will be their first marathon, while others are veterans and none more so than Stuart Millar who will have run two in a week if he finishes in London.
The Ousden runner hopes to raise £5,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care after doing the Paris Marathon last Sunday. He has also previously run in Paris London, New York, Boston and Chicago and began running marathons after his father-in-law Grahaeme Carter died of cancer in 2008.
West Suffolk Hospital nurse Lisa Andrews, 36, is raising funds for Help the Hospices.
It is her first London marathon, though she has completed the Great North Run
“I’ve had quite a lot of dealing with Help the Hospices through patients I’ve looked after at the hospital,” she said. “I had an aunt who was looked after by St Nicholas Hospice Care. I’ve an uncle who is seriously ill and being treated in a hospice in America, so it’s a little bit more poignant at the moment.”
Also running is consultant ear nose and throat surgeon Fahmy Fahmy who is raising funds for Chain of Hope a charity which treats children with heart defects in developing countries.
Gratitude has spurred many including Adam Driver, from Bury, whose mother Jane is living with the effects of water on the brain and he wants to raise money for the hospital unit that cared for her.
Adam, 26, from Bury, is running in aid of the neurosciences critical care unit (NCCU) at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge, which helped when his mother needed it most.
RAF Regiment officer Simon Openshaw, from Moreton Hall, is running in aid of the Evelina Children’s Heart Organisation which helped his son Samuel when he was treated for a heart condition at Evelina Children’s Hospital, in London.
Some have had marathon running thrust upon them like Daniel Fiske, 29, a police constable with the armed response unit in Bury, who volunteered to run in place of an injured colleague Malcom Inness, who hurt himself in training.
Rather than the usual 16 weeks of training undertaken by marathon runners, Daniel had only eight weeks to make sure he is fit enough and he has only run a half-marathon before.
He is running for Task Brazil which helps abandoned children in Rio De Janeiro.
Not everyone will be running alone. Mother and daughter team Jan Blofield, 47, and Amy Blofield, 22, are are raising money for DebRA, a charity which promotes awareness of the rare skin-blistering condition Junctional EB from which Jan’s niece died at only one month old.
Martial arts enthusiasts Alex Johnson, 24, of Bury St Edmunds, and Mathew Wilson, 25, of Nottingham intend to run bare foot. Alex said: “Traditional martial arts such as karate are always done bare foot and martial artists do go for runs bare foot as it toughens up your feet.”
The pair ran a half-marathon in Liverpool without trainers as part of their training and are raising money for The Children’s Society.
If running with bare feet takes a lot of bottle, Clare Phillips, from Bury, has plenty – she is aiming for the women’s world record for Fastest Marathon Dressed as a Bottle. Adnams is supporting her effort by supplying a bottle costume, while rivals Greene King have supplied sweepstake prizes. The record currently stands at 4 hours 36 minutes and 19 seconds.
Clare is supporting the Cambridge Cancer Help Centre and Addaction, which supports people with drug and alcohol addiction.
Emma Garber, from Lavenham, is joining the Mr Men and Little Miss team in aid of Children with Cancer UK and has raised a phenomenal £12,500. The 45-year-old personal trainer is a runner but this is her first full marathon.
Clare Turnbull, a beauty lecturer at West Suffolk College and stepdad Colin Brand, both from Red Lodge, are raising money for St Nicholas Hospice Care.
Dawn Marshall, Roger Brand, Rob Tillyard, Ian Gooderham, Mark Watts, Steve Le Poidevin, Neil Anthony and Tom Kingsnorth from St Edmunds Pacers are also taking part.