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London Marathon runners raise a combined 16.9k for good causes




Joshua Halil raised more than £1,700 running the London Marathon for 13-year-old Callum Doe. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
Joshua Halil raised more than £1,700 running the London Marathon for 13-year-old Callum Doe. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

It was an emotional day for many London Marathon runners at the weekend.

Many participants, like Kate Purling, were blown-away by the support they received and spurred on by the cheers of the crowd.

The 32-year-old who competed in the 26.2-mile race, raised £2,045 for Scleroderma and Raynaud’s UK in memory of her grandmother, Sue, who died in 2008.

“Many thanks to everybody for their sponsorship, particularly Old Buckenham Primary School for all their efforts. They raised an amazing £600 alone, through cinema nights and cake stalls,” said Kate, who grew up in Diss but now lives in Attleborough.

“This money will go a long way in supporting people with scleroderma and Raynaud’s. I am hugely thankful and know that my nan would have been so proud.”

Kate Purling raised money in memory of her nan Sue.
Kate Purling raised money in memory of her nan Sue.

Also running in memory of a loved one was Gislingham man Howard Preston-Bloom, who represented East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

His mother, Marian Bloom, spent her final days in hospice care, prior to her death in 2014.

The design engineer completed the marathon in three hours and 54 minutes and raised £1,900. He said: “I’m very proud of all my friends and family for helping me raise the money which will be going to a fantastic cause.

“It was really nice to be so involved with the charity work and meet all the wonderful people along the way.”

Howard added: “It’s one of the best feelings in the world to know you are going to make a difference to someone else’s life and running is a fantastic platform to promote charity work.”

Howard Preston-Bloom, of Gislingham, raised money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
Howard Preston-Bloom, of Gislingham, raised money for East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH). Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

Harleston Magpie Leigh Sitch, who admitted not being the keenest of runners, teamed up with colleague and friend Lucy Whiting.

“I don’t enjoy running by myself,” said the 32-year-old, who finished the marathon in three hours and 43 minutes. “But with the atmosphere there, it didn’t feel like 26 miles; the first half flew by. I have enjoyed it so much that I have signed up for the ballot for next year.”

Leigh, a father of twin boys, raised £3,500 for the Twins and Multiple Births Association (Tamba), a cause close to his heart.

Lettings manager Lucy who, despite receiving sad news days before the event, was able to smash her £2,000 charity target and raise £3,500 for Dementia Revolution, which supports research into a disease that currently has no cure.

Lucy’s inspiration, her grandmother Kay Randall, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, had died only four days earlier.

Leigh Sitch and Lucy Whiting.
Leigh Sitch and Lucy Whiting.

Also signing up for next year is Diss courier Dennis Harris, who raised £1,550 for Jack Wright, two, who has a rare genetic disorder.

The father-of-three said: “It was an amazing day but probably one of the hardest things I have ever done and ever will do.”

The 53-year-old added: “When I was running around, I was saying ‘never again will I do anything like this’ but, the day after, I thought possibly one more.”

Running for Action on Hearing Loss, Amanda Moss raised £2,700 in honour of her two profoundly deaf children.

The 44-year-old from Banham said: “The marathon was a mighty task to take on and, if you had asked me on Sunday would I do it again, absolutely not. A day later, my mind was whirring of what to book next. I completed it, but it wasn’t easy.”

Dennis Harris of Diss took part in the London Marathon for two-year-old Jack Wright who has a rare genetic disorder. He's pictured with his dog Douglas. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.
Dennis Harris of Diss took part in the London Marathon for two-year-old Jack Wright who has a rare genetic disorder. He's pictured with his dog Douglas. Picture by Mark Bullimore Photography.

Many of the runners, such as Joshua Halil, want to encourage other people to sign up to the world’s most famous street race.

The 27-year-old, of Willbye Avenue, Diss, said: “Anyone thinking of entering should. No matter your shape or size, it doesn’t matter – you will get over the finish line with the help of the people and the adrenaline pumping through your veins. Never doubt yourself, just do it.”

Joshua raised £1,724 for Diss youngster Callum Doe, who has a brain tumour.

“It was Callum in the back of my mind that kept me going as well as the crowd, said the father-of-two. “It was an unbelievable experience.”

Amanda Moss took part in honour of her two deaf children. Picture by Mecha Morton.
Amanda Moss took part in honour of her two deaf children. Picture by Mecha Morton.


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