LONDON MARATHON: Making strides in the long run

Oxford Mail: Nick Waite with the St John’s Home team who inspired him to run the race Nick Waite with the St John’s Home team who inspired him to run the race

ONE runner running for a cause close to his heart was 48-year-old gardener Nick Waite, from Blackbird Leys who was inspired by his job at St John’s Home.

He raised £4,500 for the charitable trust which runs the home in St Mary’s Road, East Oxford.

“The amount of people cheering you on was amazing,” he said.

“And because I had ‘Nick’ on my shirt they were shouting ‘Go on Nick!’ – I don’t think I would have got round without everyone watching and cheering. I did it in three hours 55 minutes.”

Faringdon Community College Year Eight teacher Sam Wells was cheered on by his wife George and two children, Elizabeth, two, and Edmund, three months, who all benefited from specialist care at the Silver Star Unit at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

The dad-of-two raised £1,800 for the Silver Star Society which supports the unit’s work.

He said: “It went really well – I did it in four hours and one minute. The atmosphere was really, really good.

Also running to raise money for the hospital were sisters Angela Nicholls and Debbie Willis, who collected more than £8,000 for research into Ewing’s Sarcoma at Oxford Cancer Centre after Angela’s husband Tony died of the condition. The sisters crossed the finish line in a time of five hours 49 minutes. Angela said: “I ran with my husband on my shoulder the whole way round.

“When I consider the pain he suffered I felt I had no right to complain about sore feet.”

Meanwhile Didcot Running Club members Stuart Howes, Eileen Naughton and Jo Linthwaite all put in personal bests. Eileen said: “All the Didcot runners finished safe. “I smashed over an hour off my last marathon, finishing in three hours 47 minutes – I’m on cloud nine. Not a blister, or pain to show.”

The club also did itself proud with Paul Griffiths, Rob Sharp and Kirsty Reade running so fast they have qualified to take part again next year.

Alan Stratton said: “I finished in four hours 31 minutes and 11 seconds beating my previous time set two years ago by 26 minutes.

“I’m really pleased – great weather and brilliantly organised. Money is still coming in but I’m looking at raising approximately £1,500 for The Blue Cross in memory of Samantha Boswell.”

Headington British Legion bar manager Angie Stevens ran in a poppy outfit to raise funds for the Poppy Appeal.

She said: “It took me five hours 53 minutes and 47 seconds. It was hot as well and I got a sun tan! I've got a red face and a red neck. But it was absolutely brilliant.”

Andrew Wiffen, who was running for Macmillan in memory of his dad Terry, said: “I did it in three hours 56 minutes.

“I am very pleased I took 50 minutes off my time last year. I know my dad would have been very proud of me.”

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