FOR the 36,000 people taking part, this year’s London Marathon was the culmination of months of training.

Many of the runners had a special reason for taking part in the race, and most raised a lot of cash for charities close to their hearts.

Wendy Foster completed her second London Marathon in five-and-a-half hours.

The 46-year-old from Launton, near Bicester, ran to raise cash for PCP Housing (Perry Clayman Project), which provides support for overcoming addiction.

She said: “It was an electrifying experience, I would say anyone who is considering it should do it.

“I got cramp and that really slowed me down. My heart rate could have gone a lot higher, but my legs just wouldn’t go.

“But I’m very happy with my time.”

She raised £500 for PCP because the project had helped her family and friends.

Oxford Mail:

  • Stuart Harper

Anna Reading ran in memory of her sister, Dr Bethan Reading, who died last January aged 34, from breast cancer.

The 34-year-old and her friends have set up a fundraising group called Beth’s Pink Ladies and have so far raised more than £23,000 in her name.

Anna and her friend Jude Barber, 50, raised £6,000 for charity Breast Cancer Campaign by running together on Sunday.

Office manager Anna, of Forge Place, Fritwell, finished in four hours 38 minutes and said: “It was brilliant, I loved it. There are loads of people running in costumes so there was a real sense of fun.”

She said she was happy with her time, but was “definitely considering” returning next year to try to beat it.

Simon Faulkner-Barrett, from Bampton, ran the marathon for the second year in a row and achieved a new personal best, of four hours 28 minutes.

Car salesman Mr Faulkner-Barrett, 39, used the race to raise money for The Mulberry Bush School, in Standlake near Witney, which provides therapy and support for traumatised children.

He said: “It was hard work – real tough going. The weather forecast said it was going to be cloudy, but it was blistering sunshine.

“But the crowds were awesome, their cheering got me round.”

Oxford Mail:

  • Wendy Foster

He hopes to raise £2,000 for the school, where his fiancee Vicki Kenyon is a therapeutic care worker.

Stuart Harper from Abingdon-based IT reseller Open Reality completed the marathon in five hours 14 minutes.

He entered the race after their director Andy Grover stood to take a photograph at a charity auction, but the auctioneer took it as the winning bid for places in the London Marathon.

He is hoping to raise £1,400 for charity SeeAbility, which supports people with disabilities, including visual impairment.