Runners of a whole range of experience levels and for a vast array of causes are gearing up to pound the pavements of the capital at the Virgin Money London Marathon in little more than a week’s time.
Halstead Road Runners will have eight members representing them across the ever-popular 26.2 mile course through London’s iconic landscape on Sunday, April 23.
Sarah Burnham, Steve May, Simon Humphrey, Jon Buist, Kathryn Bronson, Laura Marfleet, Bob Langley and Andy Wilmost will all be going easy on the Easter Eggs and putting in some last-minute preparations.
For Burnham it was success in the public ballot after 11 years of trying, but she is no first-timer to the most arduous of distances, having previously taken on the marathons held in both Halstead and Chelmsford in 2014. She will be aiming for a time of four hours and 30 minutes.
May got a place in the public ballot on his second attempt and London will be his first marathon. He is raising money for the Essex Air Ambulance and is hoping for a time of around 3.45.
Humphrey recently joined Halstead Road Runnners and says this has helped with his training which is getting harder with the longer runs.
He is raising money for Make-A-Wish UK, who grant wishes to children with serious illness. His charity gig night helped raise £1,300 and he has a target of 3.50 to reach the finish line.
At the other end of the spectrum is Halstead’s marathon specialist Wilmot, with the 73-year-old incredibly set to complete his 711th marathon, of which London has accounted for 25, having only taken up running later in life. He is hoping for a time of around four hours.
Buist is raising money for the Halstead Day Centre, but his preparations have been hampered by an injury during training.
He is slowly getting his miles up again, though, and hopes to target 3.10 with a good run on the day.
Bronson was successful in the Halstead Road Runners club ballot and this year will be her third marathon, but with her experience of London, she is aiming to beat her previous best time of 3.46, although has suffered with a painful Achilles injury during training.
Bronson will also be supporting Buist’s fund-raising in aid of the Halstead Day Centre.
Marfleet joined Halstead Road Runners in October and two weeks later found she had a place in the London Marathon. She will be running for the Essex and Herts Air Ambulance and after training under the guidance of Wilmot, is hoping to go round in around 4.30.
Langley qualified for a Good for Age place meaning he meets the criteria for having run a marathon at the same or faster time for his age category. He is said to have been in good form over the winter and would like to finish in around 3.30.
The Road Runners’ fundraising pages:
Steve May: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=stephenmay2
Simon Humphrey: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Simon-Humphrey4
Kathryn Bronson: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=jonandkathryn&faId=776995&isTeam=true
Laura Marfleet: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Laura-Marfleet