Runners from Chester and Cheshire put their best feet forward in the London Marathon on Sunday to raise cash for charity.
Neston dad Andrew Cooper, whose 12-year-old daughter Molly has epilepsy, completed the 26.2-mile challenge in 4hrs 59mins to raise funds for national charity Epilepsy Action.
He said: “I’m thrilled to have completed the London Marathon for Epilepsy Action. The course was tough at times, but the knowing I was doing it for such a fantastic cause really helped me focus on reaching the finish. The crowds cheering me on were fantastic too.”
Andrew has raised £2,700 to help support people living with epilepsy and their families all over the UK.
Holly Rawlings, of Epilepsy Action, said: “Congratulations to Andrew on such a fantastic achievement and we wish him a well-deserved rest today! The atmosphere on the day was electric and all of our runners have collectively helped us to raise more than £65,000 to support people with epilepsy. Their incredible efforts mean we can continue to be there when people need us most.”
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To apply to be part of Epilepsy Action’s 2017 London Marathon team, visit epilepsy.org.uk/events.
Stick 'n' Step
Burton dad Stephen Hannam completed the course in 4hrs 3mins to raise £1,600 for Stick ‘n’ Step, a cause close to the dad of three’s heart.
The charity supports children with cerebral palsy and their families and has supported two of Stephen’s sons for many years.
His sons Jack 10, Oliver, nine and Harry, six were all at the finishing line to congratulate dad on his achievement.
Stephen had previously ran the marathon on behalf of the charity, but fell unwell a few days before the event. Undeterred, Stephen discharged himself from hospital to run the marathon in five hours.
The previous experience left Stephen determined to run again and beat his time, which he did by one hour, whilst raising money for the charity that has given his sons so much support.
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Care after Combat and the British Heart Foundation
Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans completed the London Marathon in a personal best time of 4hrs 25mins.
The 52-year-old MP was running this year, his fifth London Marathon in a row, for the charity Care after Combat which helps ex-service personel and their families re-adjust to civillian life. Graham was one of eight MPs who ran the race on Sunday.
Graham said: “I’m really pleased to have finished the course and with a personal best! As usual there’s a terrific atmosphere with the crowds cheering you on.
“I’m honoured to be raising money for Care after Combat. I’m also very proud of Mrs Evans who has just completed her first ever marathon!”
Graham’s wife Cheryl ran the marathon for the first time in 5hrs 17mins for the British Heart Foundation and so far has just over £1,000.
She said: “I lost my grandfather to heart disease, my husband lost his father to heart disease and my father had major heart surgery and now continues to lead a healthy life seeing his children and grandchildren blossom.”
The couple’s children Sophie, nine, Tom, 12, and George, 19, were in London to cheer their parents on.
There was another personal best for Tom Sirett, who completed the London Marathon in 3hrs 19mins to raise almost £3,000 towards MS-UK after one of his friends was diagnosed with the disease.
Most of the funds raised were made by a charity fitness Combatahon event his mum Cathy Sirett held at The Groves Club in Ellesmere Port last October.
He thanked family, friends and everyone at the fitness classes for making it possible.
Mike Butler, of Hoole completed the London Marathon in 4hrs 23mins to raise money for SPACE, which provides specialist drop-in play sessions in the Chester area for children with additional needs. He has so far raised £350 with more money coming in.
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Hospice of the Good Shepherd
Gerry Cummins, also from Chester, ran the London Marathon with his three brothers for the Hospice of the Good Shepherd. The four have so far raised more than £3,500.
This wasn’t 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: “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.”
Edward was 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.”
More pictures of the Cheshire runners can be found in this gallery