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London Marathon duo to raise cash for HEART UK

Gus Tomlinson and Edward Barlow are spurred on by message from Dame Judi Dench

Gus Tomlinson and Edward Barlow will be running the London Marathon in 2016 for HEART UK - the cholestrol charity

Runners from Farndon and Malpas will be taking on the London Marathon on Sunday to raise funds for HEART UK - The Cholestrol Charity.

Gus Tomlinson, of Farndon, and Edward Barlow, of Malpas, will tackle the 26.2 mile course to raise awareness of a disease that has affected several of their close family and friends.

This is not the first marathon for Gus, a manager for Chester-based data company GBG, who ran the Chester race in 2013 but Ed, who works for his family business Barlows Electrical, is a newcomer to long distances.

Gus said: “Neither of us has ever run the London Marathon before but it was on both of our bucket lists.”

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Gus explained why she is so motivated to support HEART UK: “So many people we know have struggled with heart disease, and I’ve supported the charity ever since my dad was diagnosed with high cholesterol during a routine health test.

“The literature they provided has been really helpful in reforming his diet, and reducing his symptoms. We’ve felt reassured throughout; their work has made such a difference to our family.

“If we can contribute to HEART UK’s work in any way we can, then each of the 26 miles will be worth it.

“Edward is aiming for a faster time than I am, so I’m hoping he’ll be able to go and get me an ice cream before I cross the finishing line.”

Family connection

Edward is motived to run the race after his sister Sarah was diagnosed with a heart problem. He said: “Whilst applying for the marathon, my sister was actually diagnosed with an inflamed heart, and my grandfather died of a heart attack, so HEART UK’s purpose really resonates with me.

“Fortunately, my sister’s condition has calmed down, but I’ve been so impressed with HEART UK: they’ve given us advice, training support, and prizes to raffle off as part of our fundraising.

“I’m hoping to finish in under four hours. It turns out running 26 miles is completely different to a gym class or football match, but it’s a great excuse to eat lots of carbs.”

President of HEART UK – The Cholesterol Charity Dame Judi Dench, who starred as Q in seven James Bond films, has wished the duo the best of luck.

She said: “On behalf of HEART UK, I’d like to wish Gus and Edward the very best of luck for the London Marathon, which is so much more demanding than trying to keep 007 in line!

“HEART UK receives no government funding and the work it does is vital to support patients and their families and ensure that more people understand the importance of knowing and managing their cholesterol levels.”

HEART UK are aiming to raise at least £70,000 from the Marathon to fund its life-saving work including raising awareness about the risks of high cholesterol, running a helpline and lobbying the Government and other health bodies to ensure that vital medication is available to the at risk or those managing cholesterol related conditions.

The charity is the only one in the UK dedicated to providing support for people with high cholesterol and familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), an inherited form of high cholesterol that can be life threatening if left untreated. They also work with governing bodies and medical stakeholders to develop better methods of detection and treatment for all cholesterol-related conditions.

To sponsor Gus and Edward, visit their justgiving page.

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