A total of 75 Shooting Star Chase runners took to the streets of the capital for the Virgin London Marathon on Sunday to complete a gruelling 26.2 miles – raising over £178,000 and counting!
The brave challengers included five supported parents; four runners with a family connection to the charity; three children of members of staff; volunteers; corporate partners and several long-term supporters.
One supported dad was running dressed as Iron Man and proved he is a true superhero when he battled a broken foot for over 23 miles of the course – making it to the finish line in 4 hours 40 minutes.
Paul Chandler, whose family have been supported by Shooting Star House in Hampton for seven years, said he tried to move out of the way of someone at mile 2.7 but his mask covered his peripheral vision and his foot landed awkwardly.
“I could hear something go – and so could the runner next to me – so I knew I’d done some damage to my foot but if I stopped I thought I’d never start again so I decided to see how far I could get,” Paul explained. “Adrenaline and stubbornness kept me going and although it was a struggle I managed to finish in 4 hours 40 minutes. I could barely walk at the end of the run and the hospital later confirmed I have two fractures in my heel bone, as well as spur heel – where a bit of shark toothed shaped bone sticks out. I think I’m going to take up swimming!”
Another supported parent, Niamh Comerford – whose son Finn is cared for by Christopher’s in Guildford – completed the marathon in 3 hours and 57 minutes and said: “It was my first marathon and I really enjoyed it. My son Finn goes to Shooting Star Chase so the cause is very close to our heart. We think it’s an amazing place and we wanted to return the support they give us.”
Malcolm Parsons from Dartford in Kent ran the marathon in 3 hours and 23 minutes in memory of a family member who was a Shooting Star Chase Ambassador and part of the Wimbledon Friend’s Group. Malcolm said, “My cousin, Alison, was a fantastic supporter of Shooting Star Chase and unfortunately she passed away a couple of years ago so I thought I’d pick up the baton and raise some money in her memory.”
Shooting Star Chase cheering teams were stationed throughout the course to boost the runners as they passed London’s famous landmarks to make it to the finish line at The Mall – and everyone celebrated at Central Hall in Westminster at a post-run reception for the runners, their friends and families.
Karen Peffer, Challenge Events Fundraiser at Shooting Star Chase, said:“Shooting Star Chase had a fantastic team of runners at the London Marathon and we couldn’t be more proud of them for tackling such a gruelling distance for the charity. Our cheering teams were out in force at mile 9, Tower Bridge and Embankment to help our runners along the course and it was truly inspirational seeing them in action.
“Despite a few aches and pains, they were all still smiling at the Shooting Star Chase post-run reception and celebrating their achievement. The money they raised will make a huge difference to children with life-limiting conditions and their families in London and Surrey, who are in desperate need of our support.”