On Sunday 28 April, 68 Shooting Star Children’s Hospices runners raised £170,000 and counting for their local children’s hospice charity, after taking to the streets of the capital for the 39th Virgin Money London Marathon.

#TeamShootingStar, which included members of families who are supported by us, long-term supporters, community and corporate partners, first-timers and serial marathoners, were encouraged along the way by our cheering squads at Tower Bridge and Embankment. Our fastest #TeamShootingStar runner was Tristan Hedley, who ran the marathon in 3 hours 6 minutes.

Supported Dad Arthur, whose son Ted is supported by Christopher’s, our Guildford hospice, completed the marathon in 3 hours 49 minutes. Six-year-old Ted has a life-limiting genetic condition which affects all his everyday activities, and means he needs 24-hour care.

Arthur said, “It was an amazing experience with great support from Shooting Star Children’s Hospices as always. This was my second marathon and I beat my time by 25 minutes so I’m well chuffed. It’s one of the greatest experiences you will have in your life, and to do it for a great cause and raise money for great charity – I can’t recommend it enough. It’s an honour to be part of it.”

Ted couldn’t be in London on the day but was watching and cheering his Dad on from Christopher’s – making a special ‘Team Dad’ banner.

Arthur said, “No one chooses to become a part of a children’s hospice but I am so grateful they are there. The difference they make to my family is invaluable. I know we would be lost without them. To be involved in the charity as a fundraiser rather than a supported parent took my mind off the everyday struggles we go through as a family, and I loved the support I got from the team. I wanted to the opportunity to say thank you and running the London Marathon does exactly that.”

Eileen, volunteer’s at Christopher’s, completed the marathon in 4 hours 52 minutes. Eileen said of the race, “It was fabulous, I loved it – I’m so proud of the charity and myself obviously. The support you get from Shooting Star Children’s Hospices is phenomenal; it drives you and is definitely what kept me going today!”

Our very own Ellie who is part of the Community Fundraising team, was beaming all the way completing her first ever marathon in 5 hours 14 minutes. Ellie said, “Wow, what a day! Taking part in the London Marathon was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. The roar of the crowds and the feeling of achievement as you take on the 26.2 miles is indescribable. I was lucky to have the most amazing support from friends, family, colleagues, and of course the Shooting Star Children’s Hospices cheer points on the way round were such a boost too. But knowing that I was running for such a worthy cause was what got me to the finish line. If you are reading this, and there is even a tiny part of you that is tempted to sign up…. Do it! I promise you that you will not regret it. The months of training, the blood, sweat, and tears, even the aches and pains all pale into insignificance the minute you cross that finish line. It was an honour to run for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.”

Anthony had to make sure his batteries were charged as he took on the marathon dressed as A.C.E (Advanced Charity Engine) – the robot featured in the Beastie Boys video to hit song Intergalactic.  He was aiming to achieve the world record for the fastest marathon dressed as a robot, only just missing out on the targeted time completing it in 4 hours 52 minutes. Earlier in the week Anthony had visited the hospice to have some finishing touches done to his costume. Using all the colours of the rainbow, the children and staff at Christopher’s added their hands, and in some cases feet, to create wonderful prints to ensure they’d be with A.C.E every step of the way.

Following the race the runners were treated to a special thank you reception at Central Hall in Westminster, where they were greeted by family, friends and Shooting Star Children’s Hospices staff and volunteers with huge congratulations, a shower, massage, and some welcome refreshments.

Loren Ludlow, Challenge Events Fundraiser said, “Our #TeamShootingStar London Marathon runners are unbelievably inspiring and we couldn’t be prouder of them for taking on such a tough event! The atmosphere in London on Marathon Day is electric, with this year being no exception. Our fabulous volunteers were cheering the team on and there was nothing but smiles at the reception. Raising such an amazing amount of money for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices will make such a huge difference to children with life-limiting conditions, and their families in making every moment count.”

If you’ve been inspired by the #TeamShootingStar London Marathon runners and would like to take part in next year’s event to raise money for your local children’s hospice charity, you can enter the ballot on here or register your interest for a charity place here