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“I ran my first marathon with a torn ligament”

Steph Baron, 45, is an insurance broker, from East Sussex. She ran her first marathon last year in a time of 6:40 “The 2010 London Marathon

was painful! I’d done some 10ks and I did a half marathon in training, but at eight miles into the marathon I felt as if my knee had exploded and I did the rest of the race with a ‘lippety lop’ sort of motion! I’d actually torn a ligament and I couldn’t put my foot straight in front of me so I had to point my toes out sideways and run like that! “I ran with quite a few other

injured people. The crowd were great. They gave us chocolate and sweets and called out our names. “I know I should have been

cheering as I crossed the finishing line in 6:40 but I felt like death. The good thing was I’d raised £2,500 for Cancer Research in honour of my dad Jan, who’s 82 and has had cancer three times, yet remains the most positive man I know. And after six weeks of physio I was fit enough to run again.” www.cancerresearchuk. org/running.

“My first marathon was

London’s first!” Dave McLean, 57, is an accountant, from Coventry ran 3:34 and finished off the first London race with a session at the pub! “I was just coming out of

the RAF when I heard about the first London Marathon in 1981 and I thought I would give it a go. I remember there were about 8,000 people at the start line and it was the biggest crowd I’d ever seen! “I saw Bruce Tulloh running

barefoot and I saw David Bedford towards the end. They’d just retired from international running but were going well. I don’t think celebrities ran in those days. “I finished in 3:34 and I

staggered into a nearby pub. When I ordered a pint, people in the pub asked if I’d been involved in the running. When I said yes, they all bought me pint after pint. In those days a marathon was a big thing, people were amazed we could run 26.2 miles! “I have been a keen runner

ever since. I never did the London Marathon again but I ran another seven marathons before concentrating on shorter distances.”

“The whole of London was happy for a day!”

Christopher Dunkley, 27, is an IT test manager, from Walton- on-Thames, Surrey. He decided to run the marathon when he con- tracted cancer at the age of 25 “In spring of 2008, at 25,

I discovered a lump in one of my testicles and I’d undergone an orchiectomy, the removal of one testicle. Once recovered, I knew then the time had come to train for a marathon. “The atmosphere at the

start of the 2009 London Marathon was electric, a spark rippling through the crowds. “I ran miles five to 15 with a man who, like me, was running for Orchid, the charity that fights male cancer. He’d lost his brother to testicular cancer and Orchid had supported him. “I loved the marathon because for just one day the whole of London seemed happy, bright and positive. “I finished the race in 4:47 and I raised £2,000 for Orchid. I’m sure I will do another marathon again to try to improve on my time!”

“My family were all along the course”

Rachel Billsberry-Grass, 42, is a fundraiser, from Sussex… She loved every minute of her big day “I did the London Marathon in 2009 to mark my 40th birth- day. I’d never run before and I know most people would start with a 5k, but for me, a marathon seemed right! I’m a trustee for Clic Sargent, a children’s cancer charity, and had a charity place via them. “In the first 10 miles I saw

my husband Richard with our youngest daughter Jemima, five, on his shoulders. Our friend Ian was there too, holding my daughters Mathilda, 10, and Betty, six, up so they could see me. They were shouting: ‘Mum! Mum!’ “Unfortunately, at 14 miles I had to stop to get a blister treated. I walked a few times which disappointed me as I’d done19 miles in training runs. “When I saw Buckingham

Palace I knew I’d done it and I cried when I crossed the finish line at 5:21. “Raising £5,000 gave me a

great sense of satisfaction and I wore my medal for the school run the next day!” or call 0845 602 4770.



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