North Suffolk runners complete London Marathon with pride

Gemma Bacon, Mary Pendered and Jo Newton after completing the London Marathon.

Gemma Bacon, Mary Pendered and Jo Newton after completing the London Marathon. - Credit: Archant

Runners from across Waveney joined the estimated 36,000 people who took part in the 34th London Marathon on Sunday.

James Fenn at the London Marathon.

James Fenn at the London Marathon. - Credit: Archant

From serious athletes to charity fund-raisers in fancy dress, spectators lined the 26.2-mile route, clapping and cheering participants as they pounded the capital’s roads.

Three mothers who are all members of Halesworth Running Club were among the 699 people from Suffolk who took part.

Mary Pendered of Walpole completed the course in 4 hours 21 minutes, while Jo Newton of Cookley and Gemma Bacon of Bungay completed it in 4 hours 51 minutes and 5 hours 40 minutes respectively.

The friends, who all supported different charities, agreed it was an extraordinary experience.

Mrs Pendered said: “I’ve never run a marathon before and to be doing it in London and on a sunny day in such a carnival atmosphere was so exciting. The support from everyone watching and cheering all the runners on by name really kept me going, especially those last three long miles to the end.” Mrs Pendered was running in support of War Child and raised £2,600.

Mrs Newton, who was taking part for the third time, ran in support of Ataxia UK and has raised £2,500, while Mrs Bacon, ran in support of the Anthony Nolan Trust – the UK’s blood cancer charity and bone marrow register – and raised £1,700.

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She said: “I was so pleased to even complete it as my training was hampered badly by foot problems and every step hurt, but it was definitely worth the pain.

“In the crowd, as well as family and friends, among hoards of Anthony Nolan Trust supporters, was Oliver Rofix who inspired me to run in the first place, along with the donor who helped to save his life with a bone marrow transplant, Matt Hall.”

Bungay lifeguard James Fenn, also completed the marathon in support of his older sister Becky who was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer affecting the muscular tissue around the bones, at the age of three.

The 27-year-old, who completed the course despite sustaining a leg injury, has raised more than £450 for Children with Cancer UK.

He said: “Sunday was an amazing day although I did end up finishing an hour- and-a-half after my predicted time due to a leg injury I sustained at mile 17.

“Once I arrived at mile 20 I was able to get some physiotherapy on my leg meaning I could still make it to the end in 5 hours 57 minutes.”