Cramp and cheering for Newham’s London Marathon runners
- Credit: Tom Morton/Richard House
Crazy costumes, celebrity spotting and cheering crowds can only mean one thing – the London Marathon is back for another year.
Among the 36,000 runners pounding the capital’s streets on a somewhat chilly Sunday morning were a few brave fundraisers representing Newham.
One of the oldest was Derek James, from Silvertown. The 72-year-old retired teacher was running in his seventh London Marathon, raising funds for Richard House Children’s Hospice.
He finished with a time of 4:16:19, and said: “The first 20 miles were great, there was a superb atmosphere, and loads of cheering. I was going really well, but then I got cramp, so it certainly felt good to be finished!
“The way I’m feeling now, I’m not sure if I will do the marathon next year. I might just stick to half marathons!”
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Emma Roebuck, who was also raising money for the Beckton hospice, posted a time of 5:58:57, having completed her second marathon in two weeks.
Custom House FC captain Bobby Wooster celebrated his 35th birthday by taking on the 26.2 mile challenge.
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Bobby, from East Ham, said: “It was great to run for Richard House, they are a local charity and our football team has been supporting them.
“Both my knees being injured made it hard, and I’ve never done more than a half marathon before.
“I won’t do another marathon right now, that’s for sure!”
He wasn’t football’s only representation from the borough, as Newham FC coach Anees Ikramullah, 24, finished in 4:03:54.
It was the second of three challenges in three months he is tackling for disability sport charity Interactive.
Anees said: “It was great, but I’m really feeling it now.
“I’m taking a week off and then I’ll be back in the gym.”
Sophie Al-Mudallal, who finished in 5:38:58, called it “the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but the best thing.”
The 19-year-old from Forest Gate said: “The overall experience was incredible. The crowd, the support and the general atmosphere, that was what helped me finish it.
“I was thinking of my brother and the good that the money will do for the MS Trust. That was what it was all for and I’m glad that I did that.”
Derek Stainsby, from Plaistow, finished in a time of 5:08:16.
He said: “It was quite emotional to see all the support.
“There were complete strangers handing out bananas all the way around and holding banners reading ‘random stranger you are wonderful’.
“That memory will stay with me forever.”
Dominic Biagioni and Greg Fernett, both 26, took on the challenge for Caritas Anchor House, raising over £5,000 between them.
“It’s been an exciting but quite exhausting process,” said Greg, who finished in 4:53:37.
“We have been training for weeks to prepare ourselves for the event, so we’re both so happy we’ve crossed the finish line in under our target time.”
Dominic, who posted a time of 4:36:30, added: “It’s a fantastic charity and I’m proud to have been able to help them. We both thank everyone who sponsored us.”