On Sunday 22nd April, 30 runners started the 2012 Virgin London Marathon to raise funds for the Essex Disabled Sports Foundation.
In weeks before the race Eamonn Martin, who is the last British man to win the London Marathon gave two presentations to help our runners train and prepare for the event.
A total of 50 runners were committed to run for us but unfortunately a small number were injured during their training.
During the lead up to the race our runners held numerous fund raising events including Discos and Quiz Nights. Five members of the Essex Fire Service stationed at Grays held a sponsored ‘Ladder Climb’ at the Lakeside Shopping Centre and in twelve hours raised a magnificent £4,200.
On the day of the race the results of our runners varied from completing the course in just over three hours to taking over six and half and for some possibly longer. All our runners made a tremendous effort with mixed emotions including elation and pain.
Some of the comments we have received are:
“I absolutely loved every minute of it! The crowd was so amazing, they made the experience so memorable!”
“What an amazing weekend – Thank you for all your help and support”
“I had a truly fantastic day, the support from the crowd all the way round was over whelming”.
“I did it, but had to walk the last 8 miles as my knee gave up”.
“I struggled towards the end, and had to walk it for about 2 miles due to my injury, but other than that I had a brilliant day (apart from my blood soaked trainers!)”
“The support from all the spectators was fantastic. This was my first marathon and I was not disappointed despite finding it very difficult due to cramp at mile 19. I completed the run in 5hr 17mins”.
We have included one message we have received in full.
“Unfortunately I was in too much pain on the finishing straight to look out for you but I knew that you would be there somewhere on the course cheering your runners on and that does mean a great deal to us all believe me.
Last year I ran the marathon for the first time and ran for a large National charity and I would say that they had possibly the largest amount of supporters both last year and this out of all the charities but this did not make me feel as proud as I did yesterday running for what I believe to be one of the most worthwhile things I've ever done. After coming to your Christmas award ceremony and seeing exactly how the money we raise puts smiles on the faces of disabled children of Essex made me prouder than ever being one of your 49 runners.
At the moment I am in too much pain to think about next year but you have my assurance as a regular charity fund raising firefighter that your charity will benefit from other fundraising events that we do throughout the year how ever small the amount is.
You may not have as many supporters on the marathon course as the larger charities but you have included us more in the lead up to the marathon and post marathon than I felt last year.
I know that you have the support of your wife and other helpers so please thank them for their continued assistance in making our day worthwhile and I hope you raise lots and lots of money. My money is still flooding in and I will send this on to you in the coming months.
We are not certain how much will be raised by our runners but hopefully it will be in excess of £35,000. We will provide an update when we know the total amount raised.