Norfolk runners brave the hot conditions to complete London Marathon

Runners from the Norwich area braved the hot conditions to join thousands of others taking part in the London Marathon today.

Among them was Hilary Richards, 44, from Thorpe St Andrew, who was running to raise money for Break, the Norfolk charity which helps vulnerable children, adults and families and where she is director of care.

It was the second time she had attempted the 26-mile feat after running the Beccles and Bungay marathon about six years ago.

She said: 'The experience was great and the crowd was fantastic but I don't think I'll be doing it again - I'll let some younger people do it.'

She completed the run in 4h 55m, which was not as fast as she had aimed for, and did not beat her husband, Graeme's best time of 4h 21m, but she said it was very hot in London.


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'But it was a really good experience and I would recommend it to anyone, to do it at least once,' she said.

She has already raised about �1,500 for Break's Children's Homes Added Value Fund, which allows the charity to help children who have left care homes.

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Two nurses from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Anna Smith, who commutes from Ipswich, and Sarah Cole, who lives in Norwich, ran together and completed the race in about five hours.

Both work in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the NNUH and ran the race to raise �4,000 to buy a vapotherm device that uses non-invasive oxygen therapy to help critically ill and premature babies breathe.

Miss Smith said: 'It was not too bad but it was very hot, although you do get lots of support from people cheering you on.

'I have run them before so I knew what to expect, but it was very hot. I don't know if I will run it again. I'll maybe stick to shorter distances. I have done four now and that was hard work out there today.'

Meanwhile, a trio of lifeboat men from north Norfolk ran the marathon wearing their full inshore lifeboat kit, drysuit, life jacket and helmet.

Will Amey, along with two other members of Cromer lifeboat crew, Jason King, and Dean Johnson, were raising money for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), and have already collected about �5000.

Part of their training for the marathon involved running up and down the east beach in Cromer, during lifeboat exercises.

Mr Amey said: 'We ran together and did it in 6h 45m. I knew it was going to be difficult and I was nearly done at 14 miles. But it's one of those things that you can say you have done it. It was amazing with everyone giving you sweets and cheering you on.'

Norwich City's chief executive David McNally completed the run in 3h 52m 35s and said on Twitter: 'Delighted to finish. Too hot though! PB (personal best) but a bit disappointed with time.

'Thank you again for many messages of support. I am very grateful. This is for NORCAS and in memory of my wife's parents who we lost recently.'

Hairdresser Tracy Fabb, from Stalham, ran the marathon for the first time and hopes to have raised about �2000 for animal rescue charity, Faith For Animals In Trouble There's Hope ,at Hickling.

She said: 'It was good but I don't know my exact time as I forgot to put my stopwatch on. I think it was about 4h 45m, which is a bit disappointing, as I was doing 23 miles in training in 3h 44m. But I was stuck behind so many people I could not get by them.

'I'm pleased I've done it though, but I'm walking back to the car with a limp, my feet are bleeding and I think I've lost a toenail. But It's really good with everybody cheering you on.'

Did you complete the London Marathon? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email david.bale2@archant.co.uk.

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