EllenorLions Hospice is one of the charities benefiting from hard work of London Marathon runners
PUBLISHED: 12:47 14 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:39 15 April 2014
Mo Farah did it for the first time, Wilson Kipsang of Kenya set a new course record and more than 35,000 runners took part in the London Marathon on Sunday.
Many undertook the gruelling 26.2 mile challenge for charity, such as Janet Cooper, 56, from Dartford.
She ran the marathon for the first time this year and said she was feeling “nervously excited” about the challenge, which she undertook for the EllenorLions Hospice charity.
Describing how the training process went, Janet said: “I think during the winter months, doing the long miles in the pouring rain and high winds was a bit tough.
“I didn’t take up running until I was 50 and I always wanted to do a marathon before I was 60.”
Janet had applied for the marathon three times before, but was unsuccessful. This year, her luck changed.
“It was fantastic,” she said.
“The crowd just absolutely lifted you. The noise and the cheering, it just gives you such a huge boost.”
Janet finished in four hours and 56 minutes, achieving her aim of finishing in under five hours.
The charity provides hospice care for people in Dartford, Gravesham and surrounding villages, while its young people’s service, chYps, extends further afield into Bexley and other areas.
It is a cause close to Janet’s hear.
She said: “My father in law was in EllenorLions Hospice for the last few months of his life.“I have seen the amount of help it gives to local people.”
Lianne Peterkin, 34, had also been excited to take on the challenge.
She ran for HEART UK, which provides support to people with inherited high cholesterol, after members of her family died of heart disease.
Lianne, an architect from Beckenham, said: “I have lost both of my grandfathers and other members of my family to heart failure and I want to show encouragement to those people in my family who are being treated for high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
“I am very conscious of training to keep my cardio vascular system fit and healthy.”
She finished the race in four hours and 32 minutes and said it was a “brilliant experience”.
She added: “I was aiming up to four hours 40 minutes, so I was pretty on target.”
Lianne said that for her the marathon was the ultimate physical feat and something she wanted to cross off her lifetime achievements’ list.
“I have had an unbelievable amount of support,” she said.
Her mum, dad, sister and niece came to cheer her on the day, as well as a number of her friends.
“They kept me going whenever I was feeling like I was hitting the wall,” she said.
A Royal Mail manager put his best foot forward and ran the marathon for the company’s charity of the year partner, Prostate Cancer UK.
The charity was chosen by employees after it was put to a staff vote.
Patrick McKenna, 43, a delivery manager from Welling, was running the race for the third time and had been training since January.
He said: “Everthing went well.
“The crowds are absolutely brilliant. The crowds get you round, they really do pull you through.”
Patrick said that he had a couple of injuries and his hamstrings and glutes had played up during the marathon, which may have slowed him down.
“My legs feel like lead, but at least I did it,” he added.
Patrick finished the race in four hours and 30 minutes and said that he was really pleased.
He added: “Prostate Cancer UK’s work is making a real difference to men and their families affected by the disease. Money I raise will be matched penny for penny by Royal Mail, so please sponsor me and help me raise as much money as possible for such a worthwhile cause.”
To sponsor Janet visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JanetCooper25. To donate to Lianne’s cause, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LiannePeterkin. To sponsor Patrick, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/PatrickMckenna.