London Marathon runners from Chichester have raised more than £10,000 for charity between them.
Three staff members from Oakwood School in Funtington ran together and raised more than £7,000 for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
It was assistant head Yvonne Lee’s seventh marathon but for head’s PA Catherine Hutchin and admissions manager Sarah Mayhead, the 2016 London Marathon was their first attempt at running 26.2 miles.
The trio, known as the Awesome Oaks, have been running together since October last year, although injury hampered training for Catherine.
Their decision to run for the Chichester hospice was made more poignant when a beloved colleague, David Fido, died there in December 2015 after a short illness.
Yvonne said: “We were so shocked and saddened by David’s death. He would have thought we were completely mad for attempting to run 26 miles but he would have been there, cheering us on louder than anyone else and he was very much in our thoughts as we ran.”
Money was raised through cake sales, car washing, collections at choir performances and school plays, thanks to pupils, staff and parents at the prep school.
Catherine said: “It was one of the best days of my life and also one of the hardest.”
She had to run and walk after five miles because of a knee injury but was determined to get round.
“I have wanted to run the London Marathon for so long and to do it with so much support from colleagues, family and friends and raising money for such a very worthwhile cause just made the experience even better.”
Sarah said the support from the spectators made a huge difference.
“In the moments when I was struggling to keep going, the crowds cheered me on and lifted my spirits no end,” she added.
“They also made me laugh, even when I thought I had no energy left. It was an incredible experience, from start to finish, and one that I will never forget.”
IT support analyst Simon Chivrall raised £2,083 for Children with Cancer UK.
Simon, who works at the Chichester branch of Covers Timber and Builders Merchants, finished the marathon in four hours, 18 minutes.
The run was the grand finale of a number of fundraising activities, which included cake sales, car boot sales and a barbecue for colleagues and customers at the Quarry Lane depot.
Simon said: “I was a bit nervous on the morning of the race but once I started running and got into my stride, I was a lot more relaxed.
“The race was a huge challenge for me but all my hard work and training paid off and I was extremely happy with my time.
“It’s a great achievement to have completed the London Marathon and I am very proud to support such an amazing charity that provides important care to so many families in incredibly difficult situations.”
Estate agent Paul Higgins-Drysdale had an injury scare during the 26.2-mile run around the city but managed to cross the finish line in The Mall in a time of four hours, two minutes.
Paul, senior sales consultant at Leaders in Chichester, raised £1,750 for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice and national charity Together for Short Lives.
He said: “I enjoyed the run up until the 22-mile point, when my legs gave up and it became incredibly difficult just to keep going. I really had to grit my teeth in order to run through the pain and get to the end.
“I am pleased to have completed the marathon and to achieve a good time. There is no doubt that seeing the finish line was the highlight of my day.
“Most importantly, I am delighted to have raised money for local children who really need it. All of us in the Chichester branch have been touched by the work carried out at Chestnut Tree House and I am thrilled to be able to support such a fantastic cause.”
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