Gallery: Havering runners taking to the streets for the London Marathon
09:00 12 April 2014
Every year thousands of runners come together for one of the highlights of the UK’s sporting calendar – the London Marathon, which takes place on Sunday. We spoke to Havering participants preparing for the big challenge.
Brad Cross, 27, from Hornchurch, is running for Coeliac UK. Coeliac disease is a digestive condition.
He said: “My daughter Bella was recently diagnosed [with coeliac disease] and, though we received great support from our family and friends, not everyone has this so it’s important that the charity continues its work.
“This is my first marathon and training is going extremely well.”
Brad’s fundraising page is at justgiving.com/Brad-Cross
Daniel Meadows, from Hornchurch, is raising money for Bliss, a charity which helps premature and sick babies and their families.
His son Noah was born 13 weeks early at Queen’s Hospital, Romford.
Daniel said: “Noah is amazing and I appreciate more than ever how lucky we are that he is fit and healthy. I wanted the opportunity to run for my boy. Bliss supported us throughout a very challenging time, so running the marathon for them is the perfect way to say thank you.”
Go to virginmoneygiving.com/Noahand Joshua Meadows
Frank Butler, 44, from Collier Row, is running for Cancer Research and the Sick Children’s Trust. This will be his third time in the race.
He said: “Nearly everyone I know has been affected by cancer in one way or another.
“I am also running for the trust, who offer free homes for parents whose children are seriously ill in hospital. They assisted very close friends of ours while their daughter was in Addenbrooke’s [Cambridge] for a month.”
He will run in a pink costume, chosen by wife Joanne.
Sponsor Frank at virginmoneygiving.com/frankbutler1
Kevin Smith, 27, from Romford, is fundraising for the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.
He is also due to run the Edinburgh Marathon for them.
Kevin said: “The hospital has completed incredible work with a young lady very dear to me and I wanted to raise funds to ensure their work continues.”
To donate visit justgiving.com/kevinsmith2
Lauren Markham, 24, from Hornchurch, is fundraising for homelessness charity Shelter.
She said: “They help people in bad accommodation and, as someone with family members who have lived in some not up-to-standard conditions, I feel for people in that situation where they are so scared of eviction they live with mould and damp.
“I have said for a few years that I will do the marathon so I took up running and am now doing it for the first time.”
She will also be taking part in the New York Marathon.
To donate, visit justgiving.com/lauren-london-marathon
Royal Mail worker Martin Hussey, 39, from Romford, is running for his company’s charity of the year partner Prostate Cancer UK.
The company will match every penny he raises for the charity.
Martin said: “I’m really excited to be running the London Marathon for Prostate Cancer UK.
“Its work is making a real difference to men and their families affected by the disease.
“I’ve been training really hard and hope to cross the finishing line in one piece!”
To donate, visit sponsorme.co.uk/martinhussey/virgin-london-marathon-2014.aspx.
Robyn Jeffery, 25, from Hornchurch, is running for Heart Research UK. She lost her grandmother Frances Waller, 76, last year after she had undergone open heart surgery.
Robyn said: “My nan was up in the morning, making jokes and chatting with the family. I popped downstairs and within five or 10 minutes I returned to find she had passed away. It’s shocking how quickly things can change.
“I am very excited to run the marathon as I know that putting money into heart research is important.”
Visit her fundraising page at virginmoney giving.com/RobynJeffery.
Tony and Viv Dance, aged 47 and 46, live in Maywin Drive, Hornchurch. Tony is running for children’s charity REACT and Viv for the Royal Free Hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU).
Tony said: “It’s been almost two years since I broke my leg but the knowledge that I am running for such a fantastic charity will hopefully help me along the way.
“REACT is a wonderful organisation working to improve the quality of life for children with life-limiting illnesses, living in financially disadvantaged households throughout the UK.”
Viv said: “Almost 18 years ago, Tony and I discovered we were having twins and, at just over 30 weeks, Ben and Tom arrived – very early and very tiny. “As you can imagine this was a very stressful time but the staff in the SCBU were fantastic.”
She hopes the “gruelling feat” of the marathon will assist other parents.
Visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TonyDance1 and http://uk.virginmoney giving.com/VivDance
See all of our runners in the gallery on the top right.