A TEAM of avid runners has raised almost £1,000 in a bid to fund a new minibus.
Runners from Pompey in the Community ran the Athens Marathon with the aim of raising enough money to buy a new minibus to support disabled people.
The Athens Marathon, which took place on Saturday, November 12, is 24.85 miles, including an eight-mile uphill climb in temperatures of almost 30C (86F).
One of the runners for Pompey in the Commuinity, Clare Martin, said: ‘As we waited for the start, the Olympic flame burned above us and athletes swarmed round the stadium warming up.
‘If anyone had told me I’d be running uphill grinning, I wouldn’t have believed them!
‘The scenery, the sunshine and the local support meant nothing but a smile was possible. I felt so privileged to be there.’
Clare explained that the biggest obstacle they faced wasn’t the hill climb, but the temperatures.
She said: ‘The temperature peaked at 29C (84.2F) so the final six miles that flowed downhill into Athens couldn’t come soon enough.
‘The finish line was inside the Olympic Arena, built for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
‘My pace stepped up a bit and with tired legs the end was in sight.’
Having completed the marathon, Clare said she was overcome with emotion, but at the same time she was elated to have finshed the challenge.
She said: ‘All those hours of training, since we started all the way back in May, have been worth it.
‘I loved every minute of it and, rather than being relieved it’s over, I’m left looking for another challenge.’
Clare and her team have raised more than £800 so far which will go towards buying a minibus for their disability teams.
Clare said: ‘I’d like to thank everyone who has donated to our fundraising and Clanfield Joggers, who adopted both myself and Jane for the weekend.’
If people would like to donate, they can visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Pompey-in-the-Community.