Marathon runners rejoice after finishing despite heat

THOUSANDS of runners turned out for the hottest London Marathon on record in a bid to raise money for charity.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 23rd April 2018, 7:00 am
Runners make their way along The Mall towards finish line during the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon
Runners make their way along The Mall towards finish line during the 2018 Virgin Money London Marathon

Sir Mo Farah, wheelchair athlete David Weir and Mother Nature all made historic contributions to the showpiece event which saw 40,000 racers run through the streets of the capital.

Many of those were people from our area and despite the heat managed to raise vital money for local charities.

Race organisers had previously urged runners to reconsider aiming for personal bests and suggested ditching fancy-dress costumes.

Firefighter Chris Secrett

Fareham firefighter Sophie Elton-Woodford started her race dressed as a pint glass but shed the costume at mile eight due to the heat, but finished the race in six hours and 37 minutes.

Sophie raised money for The Fire Fighters Charity, which supports serving and retired personnel and their families, as well as The Bliss Baby Charity which supports families with premature or sick babies.

And she was one of many firefighters who ran the 26.2 miles yesterday.

The first fire crew to arrive at the Grenfell Tower fire completed the race and raised over £41,000 for Kids On The Green, a charity set up in the aftermath of the blaze to support traumatised children.

Firefighter Chris Secrett

One of the runners was Chris Secrett from Lee-on-the-Solent, who was part of the North Kensington crew called out on June 14 last year.

The 36-year-old previously said: ‘When we were first called we thought it was just a high rise incident.

‘I have never seen a fire like it and I would not like to see it again.’

Speaking about why they wanted to raise money for Kids On The Green, Chris said: We just wanted to help the kids after the incident as they saw horrendous sights.’

Colleague Tom Abell added: ‘It’s just a massive achievement.

‘The support we got going round was just unbelievable.

‘From day one, since we decided to do this, it’s been an unbelievable journey.’

Last year, the event raised £61.5 million for charity, a world record for an annual one-day fundraising event, making the total raised since 1981 around £890 million.

Kelle Russell, Community Fundraiser for The Rainbow Centre, added: ‘I think everyone can agree that the atmosphere was amazing. For a lot of people like me it was their first marathon, and also like a lot of people probably my last!’