Bexley marathon runners last the distance
PUBLISHED: 17:34 24 April 2012
Tens of thousands of professional and elite runners took to the streets of the capital for the 32nd London Marathon on Sunday (22).
Among them were Olympic hopefuls, celebrities and fancy dress fun runners, alongside a host of Bexley competitors running for their favoured charities.
Eltham man Steven Mills was running the course for the first time in memory of his dad who died of liver disease.
He raised £1,100 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation, above his £1,000 target.
The 34-year-old said: “It was a hell of a lot harder than I thought it was going to be.
“I hit the wall after about 18 miles and walked for a bit but then I saw a friend at about mile 20 and this spurred me on to reach the finish.”
Mr Mills completed the course in five hours 28 minutes and was delighted to cross the finish line.
As to whether he would take on the iconic route again, he said: “My wife’s begging me not to but once the pain has subsided I think I could be persuaded to do it again.”
Legal clerk Ben Heaviside survived a fall to complete his first London Marathon.
Mr Heaviside, from Bexleyheath, got caught up in a jam by the Cutty Sark which ended with him hitting the deck.
He said: “I wanted to do it in around four and a half hours but obviously falling over didn’t help!
“My back and neck were very sore the following day but my feet weren’t too bad.”
The 26-year-old finished the course in five hours 33 minutes and did not rule out lining up on the start line next year.
He said: “On Monday I swore I’d never do it again from a selfish point of view but after sleeping on it you realise it gives you a great sense of achievement and is for a great cause.”
Mr Heaviside had raised £2,193 and counting for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, creeping up to his target sum of £2,500.
Hairdresser Sophie hopes to trek up a mountain for her chosen charity after completing the marathon in just over four hours.
She ran for the National Autistic Society (NAS) to support her 13-year-old sister Isabella, who was diagnosed with the condition as a toddler.
The 26-year-old, from Bexleyheath, completed the course in four hours 18 minutes in her first marathon and raised £2,100 for NAS.
Sophie said: “Running the London Marathon was a great experience.
“I wanted to show my appreciation for the great work the organisation have done for her.
“I will definitely be doing more fundraising for NAS in future, possibly a trek up a mountain!”
For more Bexley marathon stories see this week’s paper, out on Thursday