Wiltshire Publications

Westbury runners conquer London Marathon for good causes

EMOTIONS were running high last weekend, as dedicated runners from Westbury completed the London Marathon and raised thousands of pounds for causes close to their hearts.

They were among some 37,000 people who took part in the 26.2 mile race on Sunday, raising much-needed funds for both local and national charities as well as completing the course in memory of friends and family. The run attracts everyone from elite athletes to amateurs in fancy dress. Local runners included Fiona Price, James Waugh, Wendy Hemmens and Peter Doust. Their stories are on page 21 Fiona Price is a regular runner and honorary secretary for the Avon Valley Runners. Running six days a week, Fiona was determined to achieve a good time and she was thrilled with a personal best (PB) of three hours, 28 minutes. As a result, she is guaranteed a place in next year’s marathon. It was Fiona’s first time running the London Marathon. “It was so busy, it was unbelieveable,” she said. “You can’t even comprehend it when you’re looking at the crowds. I loved it and the support was amazing. “Talking to people after the race, you catch people between euphoria and being shattered! I have only run two marathons before but have done quite a few other races including this year’s Bath half-marathon which I completed in 92mins. I feel exceptionally lucky to be able to take part and have support from my family and friends.” Fiona’s next challenge will be the Bristol half-marathon in September. James Waugh ran the marathon with his daughter Amy, raising funds for Asthma UK while she raised funds for Spinal Research. James runs with the Westbury Run England Group and with the Southwick Country parkrun 5km on Saturday mornings. He is also a member of the Westbury Wheelers. James completed the marathon in five hours, 17 minutes. It was his second marathon, having run the Edinburgh Marathon previously. He said, “London was more lively! You’re smiling all the way round – and you get to the last two or three miles and don’t want to smile any more! It’s a fantastic occasion, you see and read what’s on the back of people’s t-shirts, and that’s so emotional. James has so far raised around £1,600 for Asthma UK. If you would like to sponsor James you can do so at www.virginmoneygiving.com/adpfrome Wendy Hemmens ran to raise funds for local charity Chernobyl Children in Need. She completed the run in 5 hours and 34 minutes. She said, “It wasn’t too bad, and went better than I thought – I hadn’t done enough training due to a frozen shoulder! The atmosphere is lovely – there’s thousands and thousands and people everywhere!” Peter Doust ran the London Marathon to raise money for the British Heart Foundation, while Westbury and District Cricket Club held a parallel fundraising effort for the club. Peter was pleased with his run, completing the marathon in four hours and 26 minutes, although fell short of beating his personal best. “I got cramp at 21 miles and that caused me a couple of issues, but it was a great day. The atmosphere as ever was fabulous but what really was an inspiration was my own supporters.” “Sponsorship is still coming in. My dad had a number of heart attacks and I think we all know people who have suffered with heart problems.” Peter has run marathons before but said that this year’s challenge has required just as much training and effort. “I’ve got a five-mile loop of Westbury that I use and one or two members of the cricket club have been coming out and giving me a hand as it can be pretty lonely. My 14-year-old son has also been coming out and bringing me drinks to get me round.” You can help Peter’s fundraising efforts by donating to the British Heart Foundation via his fundraising page (www.virginmoneygiving.com and searching for Peter Doust)