Now that’s a hard way to do a marathon...

Sophie Exton-Woodford dressed as a London Pride can in the London Marathon

Sophie Exton-Woodford dressed as a London Pride can in the London Marathon

Gabby Bedford with her parents Ben and Sadie  Picture: Sarah Standing (170792-3907)

Whiteley girl will not let scoliosis diagnosis stop her playing sports

0
Have your say

FOR most people just running a marathon would be enough.

But a teacher from Fareham took it to the extreme.

Gillian Silverthorn completed the London Marathon in a rhino costume

Gillian Silverthorn completed the London Marathon in a rhino costume

Sophie Exton-Woodford ran the London Marathon dressed as a beer can to raise money in memory of her dad.

Sophie, who teaches at Cams Hill School and is a retained firefighter in Fareham, completed the 26-mile race in 6hrs 26mins.

She was one of many competitors who wore fancy dress for the gruelling route.

Her London Pride beer can outfit weighed around a stone and Sophie said reaching the half-way mark was difficult.

When I got to 13 miles, I started to struggle. But the crowd and seeing my family really kept me going.

Gillian Silverthorn

‘My sister works for Cams Mill pub and they were offering to pay for people’s places in the race if we ran in a beer can,’ said the 35-year-old.

‘Because it was a guaranteed space, I decided to do it.

‘I wanted to raise money as well and thought it was a great opportunity.

‘It was tough and when I reached the half-way mark, it was hard to know I had to do it all again.’

To train for the marathon, Sophie completed three-mile runs in the beer can outfit to get used to running in it.

She then completed 15-mile runs to help with endurance.

Sophie wanted to complete the marathon in under six hours but said towards the end she was just happy to finish.

She added: ‘In the first half of the race, I was determined to finish in six hours.

‘But I got to a point where it was really hard and I was passing people who had pulled out. By that time, I just wanted to finish.’

Sophie, from Fareham, has raised £1,500 for The Rowans Hospice and the Fire Fighters Charity – three times the amount she was aiming for.

Her dad Jim Exton, a fisherman from Gosport, was treated at The Rowans Hospice.

Sophie said: ‘I know how great the staff are at The Rowans.

‘They were brilliant with my family and I really wanted to show my appreciation.

‘Both charities do important work. They sent me thank you messages which was really nice of them and they wished me luck before the race.’

Gillian Silverthorn, from Petersfield, also ran the marathon in fancy dress.

Her 12kg rhino costume for charity Save the Rhino saw the 55-year-old raise £2,400.

She completed the race in seven hours but, like Sophie, thought she would finish nearer the six-hour mark.

‘I totally underestimated when I would finish,’ said Gillian. ‘I have taken part in the London Marathon about six times and normally it takes about four-and-a-half to five hours.’

She added: ‘I was so pleased to raise so much.’

Back to the top of the page