The special people carrying the torch across East Anglia

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MARTIN Rice, pictured below, is a torch bearer tomorrow, but he faces an early start.

Though he lives in Bury St Edmunds, he will be carrying his torch through Chelmsford and has to be there by 5.10am.

Chris Flood, an Olympic torch bearer.

Chris Flood, an Olympic torch bearer.

But he is not letting that cloud his day. “I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.

It was his upbeat attitude that made his partner Jem nominate him, because Martin, 54, has had four brain tumour operations at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, which left him dyslexic and affected his communication skills. He is raising money for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust at www.justgiving.com/Martin-Rice0

Emily Rogers, 18, from Bury, did her torch run in Ipswich yesterday. Her nomination says she is a committed member of the West Suffolk Athletics Club and ‘number one’ in Suffolk in her age group at 100 metres, 200 metres and long jump. She also did the Whole Hog run for Parkinsons’ charities.

Emily said: “I’m looking forward to the Olympics generally and to be part of it is inspiring.”

Martin Rice, torchbearer for the olympic torch

Martin Rice, torchbearer for the olympic torch

Craig Jarvis, pictured top, owner of Ravenwood Hotel, near Bury, ran yesterday in Southwold. If he looked tired it was because he has only returned on Tuesday from leading a group of fund-raisers on Royal Enfield motorbikes crossing the Himalayas on the world’s highest trail.

He was nominated by his daughter Molly because he has raised more than £250,000 for the Ravenwood Children’s Trust over the years with extreme activities, including marathons in the Sahara and Amazon.

Craig said: “I’m very proud to be able to carry the torch and I don’t intend to part with it.”

Brian Alldis, 25, from Bury, is another bearer used to tough challenges. He has raced for Great Britain in wheelchairs and hand bikes, including at the 2008 Bejing Paralympics. He will carry the flame in Bishops Stortford tomorrow and keep the torch. “I do talks at schools and it would be quite a thing to show people,” he said.

Chris Flood’s family call her Wonderwoman, pictured above. Alongside her 35-year career teaching socially and emotionally disadvantaged children, she took up marathon running at 40 and now, at 65, helps run the Long Distance Walkers’ Association’s Norfolk and Suffolk Group.

She did not think she would get chosen. “I thought there would be so many more deserving people,” she said. “It’s a great honour and I’m very proud.”

When friend Julie Kett nominated Debbie Cadman, 48, from Needham Market she said it was an understatement to call her an ‘extra special person’. After being treated for breast cancer, then losing her sister Tracey to gall bladder cancer in 2009, Debbie and her mother set up Tracey’s Legacy, which raises money for St Elizabeth’s Hospice and sat navs for district nurses.

Waiting to run at Wrentham yesterday she said: “I keep watching the torch relay and getting choked up just thinking about it. It is a great honour.”

It is a wonder Amy Linton, 18, of Bury, found time to carry the torch in Ipswich yesterday. She coaches young netball teams, including the St Edmundsbury Team, and after yesterday’s excitement will help at the Suffolk Youth Games tomorrow.

Holly Sheffield, 12, from Brandon, carried the torch in Spalding on Wednesday, as a Suffolk school nominee. She said: “To carry the torch would be a great honour for me [and] my family and, I hope, an inspiration to a lot of people.”

Mina Welsh, 40, of Bury, is an athletics fan who has attended events, including Olympic Games, worldwide. She carried the torch in Kelsale yesterday and said it would be a star among her athletics memorabilia.

Mina said: “I’m quite nervous at the moment. I’m thinking I just have to make sure I’m on time to meet the bus.”

Two servicemen who were stationed in Suffolk when nominated are also torch bearers. Matt Sandbach, 31, who carried it through Melton yesterday, has now left the Army but was an Apache pilot at Wattisham who served in Afghanistan and Libya. Lee Hale, 30, now stationed in Hampshire, was a weapons engineer at RAF Honington.

Other West Suffolk torch bearers are: Claire Scarff, 44, of Feltwell; Ryan Tutthill, 15, of Bury; Wendy Hughes, 52, of Stowmarket; Abi Whitefield, 16, of Claydon and Aaron Bettoney, 13, from Red Lodge.