Silvertown man, 70, runs London Marathon for Beckton hospice

Derek James completed the marathon in 4 hours 3 minutes

Derek James completed the marathon in 4 hours 3 minutes - Credit: Archant

With his 71st birthday just three days after the London Marathon, you’d forgive Derek James for wanting a relaxing weekend to celebrate.

Instead, he was one of 35,000 runners pounding the streets of London, helping to raise millions of pounds for charity.

Derek, who lives in Silvertown, was running in support of Richard House Children’s Hospice, where he has volunteered for six years.

He said: “Before the marathon I felt fit and looking forward to it, with all the training that had gone before, and in the preparation races I had been doing better than before.

“For 10 minutes after the race I felt really drained, more than I had ever before.


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“But soon I felt much better – I even walked to the pub a mile away for a post-run drink with all the other Richard House runners.”

Derek clocked up a time of 4 hours 3 minutes 35 seconds, knocking 18 minutes off his time last year and putting him 15th in the over 70s category.

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He took up running in his late 30s and doesn’t plan on giving it up any time soon, adding: “I have pretty well decided I will be doing it again next year and will get under the four hours.

“I also want to win the over 70s category by the time I am 79!”

Retired history teacher Derek was one of 26 runners who have helped raise £45,000 for the Beckton-based charity, which provides free care and services to children with life-limiting, life-threatening and complex health conditions and their families.

Hannah Bosley, community and events fundraiser at Richard House, said: “It was great to see so many runners giving their all for Richard House.

“The children, families and staff at Richard House are incredibly grateful to all of our marathon runners.

“The money they raised will be put to good use ensuring we can continue to provide our services for children who have life-limiting illnesses and their families across London.”

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